New Delhi: Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Saturday inaugurated the 20th edition of the World Book Fair (WBF), organized by the National Book Trust, in New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan.

During the inauguration speech the Union Minster highlighted the importance of India’s rich heritage and culture. He said, “We have to develop democratic culture in our society to reflect our heritage.”

Emphasising the importance of Aakash tablet, touted to be the world’s cheapest, he said, “The Ministry wants our children should read books on the Aakash tablet.”

This nine-day-long fair will be opened to the public from 11.00 am to 8.00 pm. In this book fair around 2500 stalls will showcase books of 1300 exhibitors.

“Forty years ago, at Windsor Palace World Book Fair around 200 publishers had participated. This is the fair's 20th edition and this one is undoubtedly the mother-of-them all,” Sibal stated.

He added, “Indian English literature is ranked third in the world after UK and US.”

A special catalogue of 300 books collected from various archives will be on sale.

The theme of the event is ‘One Hundred Years of Indian Cinema’ - to celebrate the relationship between literature and cinema. The event would focus on 100 years of Indian cinema and highlight it by screening the works of ‘Cinema of Satyajit Ray’ and others. Sibal also released three Braille books on cinema. Two special volumes on the ‘art of acting’ and ‘influence of Urdu on Hindi movies’ will be released during the event.

An Oriya Author equally famous in English literature is Manoj Das (1934), an Indian award-winning author said, “Translated literature enables us to understand the writings of other language authors.”

The inauguration ceremony was organized at Hamsadhwani Open Air theatre, Pragati Maidan.