The 29th Darsana International Book Fair commenced at the Thirunakkara Maidan here on Friday.

Inaugurating the 10-day programme, Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas remarked that the affinity of Indians towards books was insatiable and that there appeared bleak chances that the trend would subside with the emergence of modern technologies.

A book titled ‘For the Grains’, authored by Prof. Thomas, was also launched on the occasion by National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions member Cyriac Thomas. The first copy of the book was presented to Jose K. Mani, MP.

Providing a glimpse into the contents of the book, Prof. Thomas said that it highlighted the various changes that have occurred in the agricultural sector of the country through the introduction of technology. They have been compiled with the assistance of renowned scientists including M.S. Swaminathan, he said.

Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan presided over the function.

District collector Mini Antony, Kottayam Municipal chairman M.P. Santhosh Kumar, Darsana Cultural Centre director Thomas Puthussery and Thekkinkad Joseph also participated in the inaugural session.