World Book and Copyright Day 2019 observed; AYUSH Ministry, CSIR sign MoU

Story 1: World Book and Copyright Day 2019 observed globally

23 April: World Book and Copyright Day

The World Book and Copyright Day was observed across the world on April 23, 2019 to highlight the power of books and to promote UNESCO’s vision of knowledge societies that are inclusive, pluralistic, equitable, open and participatory for all citizens.

The 24th edition of World Book Day will celebrate literature and reading while laying emphasis on the importance of enhancing and protecting Indigenous languages.

The Day pays tribute to books and authors by encouraging everyone to discover the pleasure of reading.

World Book Capital for 2019: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Every year, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) along with the international organisations representing publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for the period of one year with effect from 23 April each year.

This year, UNESCO designated Sharjah as the World Book Capital for 2019. With the slogan “Read – you are in Sharjah”, the programme focuses on six themes: Inclusivity, Reading, Heritage, Outreach, Publishing and Children.

The objective behind designating Sharjah as Book Capital is to foster a culture of reading in the United Arab Emirates and launch new initiatives to meet the challenge of literary creation in the rest of the Arab world.


23 April is considered as a symbolic date for world literature. In 1616, on this date, Cervantes, William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died.

The Day also marks the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov and Manuel Mejia Vallejo.

Considering the importance of this day, the UNESCO proclaimed 23 April as the World Book and Copyright Day in 1995.

Story 2: AYUSH Ministry & CSIR sign MoU for research in areas of traditional systems of medicine

The Union Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on April 22, 2019 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in research and education in areas of traditional systems of medicine and its integration with modern science.

The MoU was signed by Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary at the Ministry of AYUSH and Shekhar C. Mande, Director General of CSIR.

Highlights of the MoU

The MoU enables collaboration in pursuit of Data mining and analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to facilitate concepts such as “Traditional knowledge inspired drug discovery and development” and “Food as Medicine”.

Both the organisations will jointly pursue research and development covering fundamental research; AYUSH specific diagnostic tools; linking microbiome, and gene expression and prakriti.

They will also work on multi-ingredient herbal formulations including their standardisation; exploring modern scientific methods for integration with traditional Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM); linking disease signatures; etc.

They will further the collaboration in preserving and protecting traditional knowledge related to the Indian systems of healthcare and development of international standardised terminologies in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU), Database on Medicinal plants, Foods, etc.

Collaboration between Ayush Ministry & CSIR

Both the organizations have already undertaken a few projects and programmes through joint R&D efforts ranging from fundamental science to validation and thereafter product development.

The collaboration will significantly help in the growth of the Indian contributions to AYUSH sector, not only nationally but internationally as well.

Previously, CSIR jointly with AYUSH Ministry developed the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a globally recognised proprietary database on Indian systems of medicine for preventing bio-piracy and misappropriation of traditional knowledge.

The constituent laboratories of CSIR and AYUSH have supported each other in the development of improved varieties and confined cultivation of the medicinal plants including Rare, Engendered and Threatened (RET) species, Botanical Reference Standards and Pharmacopoeial standards, and Ayurgenomics, among many others.

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