The apex bodies of publishing industry of SAARC nations have formed an umbrella body - SAARC Book Development Council to promote book publishing in the region and to forge greater interaction among the writers and publishers of SAARC countries. Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) is the representative body from India on the council.
Every year, one member country of the council will organise a book fair. The first book fair is being organised by Bangladesh in Dhaka between September 26 - 29. According to S. Balwant, former president of FIP and Co-chairman of SAARC Book Development Council, the highlight of the Dhaka Book Fair will be a special seminar on Book Piracy and Copy Right Act.
SAARC Book Development Council, according to Balwant will be organising Writers and Publishers Conclave every year in which each member country will be represented by three writers and three publishers. The first of the series of these conclaves will be held in New Delhi later this year.
Meanwhile FIP, which has to host SAARC Writers and Publishers Conclave in December, has a new elected body in place, the elections for which were held on July 20. Debajyoti Datta is the new president of FIP, while Narender Kumar is the honorary general secretary. The four newly elected vice-presidents include S.K. Ghai (North), Sanjib Bose (East), H.R. Dasegowda (South) and Anil Mehta (West). Naveen Gupta and Shakti Malik have been respectively elected honorary joint secretary and honorary treasurer. The immediate task before the newly formed body of FIP is to organise Delhi Book Fair at New Delhi's Pragati Maidan from August 24.