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India Book of the Year 2003

A reference guide to challenge the monopoly of the annual Malayala Manorama yearbooks, this one looks set to break the latter?s monopoly.

books Updated: Feb 05, 2003 12:26 IST

India Book of the Year 2003
Encyclopaedia Britannica and The Hindu
New Delhi, 2002
Pages: 404
Price: Rs 295

A ready reckoner reference guide to challenge the annual Malayala Manorama yearbooks, this modestly-priced yearbook looks set to break the latter’s monopoly at last.

With an eye on the competition, the Manorama yearbooks, the publishershave come up with a much more competitive pricing this year.

So how do the books compare? The first glance is favourable, with a bright front cover and detailed blurb on the back. The page size is larger than the Manorama yearbooks, and the pages seem to be of superior quality.

The book is divided into dates, people, events and data of 2002, besides a section on special reports.

The section on dates ranges from December of 2001 to November 2002. Neatly laid out, the section is a big help for anyone looking up the main events of any period during the time span covered.

At the end of the section are short reports called ‘News in context’, which cover some of the more important as well as interesting events of the year. The timelines provided on each page are a valuable addition.

The next part on people of 2002 is subdivided into awards, biographies and obituaries. While the latter two sections are fairly well done, the former is just a listing of the Union Government of India awards.

Perhaps the best section in the book is the one on the events of 2002 with specialists in each field capturing the year’s events. These essays on 18 subjects not just cover expected areas like education or economy but also areas like art, antiques and collections.

Interspersed throughout the book are 16 special reports on issues such as ‘Indian Railways - 150 Glorious Years’, ‘GM Crops’, ‘Gender and Society’, and the ‘Cricket: BCCI standoff’.

The data section is divided into Indian administrative units and countries of the world. Tabular, most of the basic socio-economic indicators are included. A short paragraph on each entry perhaps would make it more comprehensive. A few maps would have helped too.

Despite minor glitches or misses, the book is a useful compendium of facts and events of 2002 and should prove useful for just about anybody into writing.

First Published: Dec 31, 2002 12:32 IST