Katha, Britannica ink pact to promote Indian children’s stories

April 22, 2014 04:04 pm | Updated May 23, 2016 04:12 pm IST - New Delhi

Geeta Dharmarajan, founder  and Executive Editor of Katha. A file photo: Meeta Ahlawat.

Geeta Dharmarajan, founder and Executive Editor of Katha. A file photo: Meeta Ahlawat.

Publishing firm Katha has tied up with Encyclopaedia Britannica to present the best of children’s stories from India across the world.

A memorandum was signed between Sarvesh Shrivastava, managing director, South Asia, Encyclopaedia Britannica, and Geeta Dharmarajan, founder & executive director, Katha.

Britannica will convert titles owned by Katha into eBooks and distribute them worldwide as part of its eBook program under the overall eLibrary initiative, according to a Britannica press release.

Katha, a non-profit organisation, has published over 300 titles, translated from 21 Indian languages, besides fostering a love of learning among children and connecting grassroots work in education, teachers’ training and publishing for nearly 25 years.

The Britannica initiatives include providing digital knowledge and learning products to Katha schools and learning centres for underprivileged children in India.

From its repertoire of children’s titles and stories sourced from Indian languages, Katha will compile a Literature Reader in English as a curricular textbook for Classes one to eighth, which Britannica will publish and market in India.

In turn, Britannica will leverage its channels to offer the Literature Reader to schools abroad that follow Indian curriculum, as part of its curricular offering.

Jorge Cauz, president of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., who has been driving Britannica’s transformation, is visiting India to promote digital learning in the South Asia region.

Ms. Dharmarajan said: “It gives me great joy that as Katha celebrates its silver jubilee this year, we join forces with such a respected and world-renowned company - Encyclopaedia Britannica - to get great Indian stories into the hands of children worldwide.”

Mr. Cauz, who visited the Katha school located in a slum in South Delhi, said: “I firmly believe that trustworthy digital content coupled with highly motivated teachers, especially like the ones I met at Katha, can play a significant role in promoting literacy among the underprivileged.”

The 32-volume-set Encyclopaedia Britannica has moved beyond its traditional base to broader educational markets, such as classroom curriculum, e-learning and language instruction.

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