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HomeAssociationsOPA urges Govt to withdraw directive banning printing of diaries, calendars

OPA urges Govt to withdraw directive banning printing of diaries, calendars

07 September 2020: Offset Printers Association (OPA) has taken serious note on the circular issued by Mr. Thanglemlian, Joint Secretary, Government of India, under office memorandum No. 7(2)/E.Coord/2020 dated 2 September 2020 which bans the printing of coffee table books, diaries, calendars etc by government departments.

The official circular states “As the world is increasingly moving towards adopting digital technology for productivity and given the fact that using technological innovations for planning, scheduling and forecasting is known to be economical, efficient and effective, the government of India has decided that there will be no further activities towards printing wall calendars, desktop calendars, diaries, festival greeting cards and similar materials by all ministries, departments, autonomous bodies and other organs of the government. All such activities including materials which were earlier printed in physical format shall be done digitally online. The printing of coffee table books is also banned and appropriate use of e-books is encouraged,”

Reacting sharply to the government decision to ban printing of these products, Prof. Kamal Chopra, President of OPA and Chairman at Pamex, urged the government to withdraw these orders with immediate effect for the relief of Small and Micro entrepreneurs who are already suffering very badly. “The 250,000 printers of the country are already facing the crunch of lockdown and many printers who were not able to afford their livelihood already facing closures. The printers always look forward to New Year and many are dependent only on such work. Printers are facing huge problems, due to this forced lockdown. One of their major source of income comes from the educational institutions, which are not allowed to function due to pandemic. Depending on the government work the printers were eagerly waiting for the orders of calendars and diaries which is an annual feature and another source of income for the 85% Micro and Small printers of the country. With these orders, the hope of survival for this key industry is dismal,” Prof Chopra said in a signed memorandum to the government.

Prof. Chopra argued that as per the study published in the International Journal of Educational Research (58 (2013) 61-68), the results indicate that reading linear narrative and expository texts on computer screen lead to poorer reading comprehension than reading the same text on paper. Thus it is clear that printed word is more effective than the digital force. He further stated that as per the statics available only less than 50% Indians are accustomed to the internet, for other more than 51% only printed word is final and to be believed. These 51% Indians are only dependent on wall calendars and diaries to find the date of festivals to fix their engagements. They always turn towards the wall to see the next date, if the calendars are not printed, it is going to be a difficult time not only for the printers but also the 990 million Indian people who are without Internet.

He is of the view that Printing or say the printed word is democratic, it is accessible by anyone, anytime, anyplace without special readers or energy. “You cannot achieve with pixels on a screen the look and feel of ink on paper. The beautifully printed calendars/diaries say and impress much more than the here today gone tomorrow messages on screen. Sometime in the case of electricity failure of the hard disk crashes, all the memories will get vanish in a moment, but the printed word is real and remain visible even without any energy.”

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