Books still best friend for all amid Internet culture: Nitish

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Patna, Nov 8 (UNI) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said the unprecedented growth and popularity of internet based studies across the world could not deter the importance of books and other printed materials for gaining wider knowledge of every concievable issue.

Inaugurating the ten-day-long ''32nd National Book Fair'' at the historic Gandhi maidan here today, Mr Kumar said despite the popularity of internet and other modern gadgets, books remained the most trustworthy friend for all to help gain all sorts of knowledge and information through an open mind.

Underscoring the need to 'make reading a habit for all', the Chief minister said in the absence of electricity and other infrastructural facilities in far flung areas, books remained the best friend of every student and others alike.

Claiminig that Bihar had one of the largest pools of 'knowledgeable' people in the country because of their study habits, Mr Kumar said this was reflected in the fact that largest number of daily and other newspapers were being published from the state.

Reiterating that his government was making best efforts to spread education and its benefits to all corners of the state through time bound programmes, the Chief minister said as a result of such initiative large number of primary and middle level schools had already come up all over the state to help students gain knowledge through books.

As there was no dearth of talent in Bihar, it was the endeavour of the state government to provide them with right opportunity of studying through books so that they could learn more about life and the surrounding environment.

Among others, Bihar Education minister Hari Narayan Singh and NBT Director Nuzhat Hassan spoke on the occasion.

More than 150 book stalls and several pavillions had been set up in the ten-day fair, being organised under the aegis of the National Book Trust, after a gap of seven years.

Thousands of book lovers from all across the state visited the fair on the opening day and the organisers were expecting a record turnout in the coming week when several seminars and inter-active sessions with noted writers would also be organised.

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