Seeking to make people aware of the importance of skill development in today’s India, the 21st edition of the Delhi Book Fair began at Pragati Maidan here on Saturday.

Based on the theme of ‘Skill Development’, the event this year aims to offer people an idea about skill development and how it can change the life of the youth.

The fair was inaugurated by Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office.

It has been organised jointy by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and The Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) and subsidised entry tickets priced at Rs.20 for the nine-day fair have been made available at several Delhi Metro stations for the convenience of the public.

At the inauguration, Singh stressed that the challenge was to create passion for books among the public.

"Better than employment is employability. Therefore, better than facilitating people’s arrival to the fair, we need to inspire some passion in them…. It is a huge challenge to create a passion which would not require facilitation," he said.

While Internet is seen as a threat to the tradition of reading books, the optimistic minister suggested the need for encouraging a harmonious co-existence of the two.