NEW DELHI, February 9: Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitleyon Monday said India must have a formal war history for every child to read, calling for digitisation of such books and other knowledge products in view of the widely popular digital media. Attending the launch of the ‘India/Bharat 2015 Reference Annual’, a ministry publication, Jaitley said here that he has suggested to the defence ministry to work on this and “I am told they are moving fast on India’s war history”. “India is one of few countries which don’t have a formal documentation of our war history,” said Jaitley, who was the defence minister before Manohar Parrikar took over. “Last year, I was invited to a function of 100th anniversary of World War I. I started looking at details and realised for the first time that the largest participation in the World War was by Indians,” he said.
“...12 lakh Indians fought the battles, over 70 thousand lost their lives. A fact which may not be known to most of the people,” he said. In view of the shift in technology paradigms, Jaitley emphasised that books and other knowledge products in printed form ought to be made available through digital medium. “The new digital medium would provide enhanced accessibility and affordability of information to a wider audience,” the minister said in a statement.
Also present, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore tweeted: “For the first time, India reference annual will be launched in e-version for easy accessibility and wider outreach.” Describing the digital version of ‘The making of the Constitution of India’ documentary as a fine instance of leveraging digital media for archival purposes and preservation of knowledge, Jaitley said such digitisation of books on India’s development could serve as “useful” reference material for the youth and to the audience worldwide.
“As a rich repository of relevant information, ‘India/Bharat 2015 Reference Annual’ would be a good addition to all the libraries,” Jaitley said. Talking about the annual, he said: “I am sure this book will be a very good addition to all our libraries, and particularly all details of this are available in the digital mode from this year onward. It will be available free of cost to the world at large to enrich itself.” The publication deals with all aspects of development from rural to urban, industry to infrastructure, science and technology, art and culture, polity, economy, health, defence, education and mass communication, the statement said.
The 59th year of publication of the reference annual has seen an increase in its print order to 1,15,000 copies this year up from 37,000 copies in 2007, it added. (IANS)