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NE states have best reading habits

Posted on Nov 21, 02:27PM | IBNS

Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram have the best reading habits in the city, says a readership survey.

The NAGMAMI (Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram) region is at the top slot with 67 per cent (85pc urban, 59pc rural) readers followed by Assam with 41 per cent (55pc urban, 38pc rural), showing that these North Eastern states are far ahead of Maharashtra, which is the topmost state of the country in terms of economic well-being with 34 per cent (39pc urban, 28pc rural) readers.

Union Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Pallam Raju Monday releasing the report 'Youth of North-East India: Demographics and Readership' said that reading habits face a real challenge in the world of TV and internet.

Driving home the point of the need for people, especially the young, to read more Raju said reading as a habit grows in a conducive ecosystem, where libraries, bookshops and teacher encouragement play an important role.

The report attempts to give an analytical and a detailed account of the reading habits of the literate youth in the northeastern states and their exposure to different forms of media, and how diverse socio-economic and motivational factors impact their reading habits, informed officials.

The reading of 'leisure or non-text books' among the literate youth is the special focus of the study.

The report states that as compared to all India, the performance of the northeastern states is much superior.

"The 'rest of the NE states' and the 'rest of the states' are at the bottom of the table with only 24 per cent and 23 per cent readers respectively in these regions," the report said.

According to the report, the northeastern states of India, despite their economic backwardness, have a greater proportion of readers among its youth population.

The survey results reveal that in the north-eastern states, 43 per cent of the youth are readers. While the central states have the largest block (85pc ) of non-readers, the northeast has the smallest (57pc ).

It noted that the northeastern region has the highest proportion of literate youth hailing from rural areas, while in the remaining parts of India, the concentration of literate youth is more towards urban.

In Assam, the highest percentage of rural youth (41pc ) considers the subject of the book as the most important deciding factor.

The other important considerations are 'author profile' and 'price' as viewed by 26 per cent and 17 per cent youth respectively.

However, in other NE states, the price of the book is the most important factor (52pc ) while purchasing leisure books, followed by subject (16pc ) and author profile (13pc ).

For rural Maharashtra, the subject is the most important weighing factor as viewed by 38 per cent youth, the next important factor being the price which has only a marginal amount of higher support over the author profile (22pc vs 19pc ).

The report said, "The youth from the 'rest of the states' has expressed a more convincing opinion - that subject (30pc ) and author profile (27pc ) are the two most important weighing factors, price can only be the third factor (25pc )."

The report is a follow-up study of the National Youth Readership Survey (2009-10) assigned to National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) by the NBT under the National Action Plan for the Readership Development among the Youth (NAPRDY) mooted by NBT, said officials.

In order to have a better understanding of the status of the northeastern states as compared to the rest of the country in this sector, the findings are compared with the similar result for one developed state (Maharashtra) and one economically backward state (Bihar), chosen on the basis of their per capita gross domestic product. This is over and above the comparison of the findings in respect of the northeastern states with the overall Indian situation.

Minister of state for HRD, Jitin Prasada, along with Director of NBT M.A. Sikandar, advisory panel members and representatives from NCAER were present on the occasion.