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Sri M N Rao was inducted into Indian Publishing Hall of Fame 1987. The extracts of the same are presented here.

Indian Publishing Hall of Fame Inductees - 1987

Sri.Dev Raj Chawla


Sahitya Pravarthaka Cooperative Society


Shri Jawaharlal Nehru




M.N.Rao (1924-1978) was a towering personality in Indian publishing who promoted Telugu literature throughout the country and abroad. Beginning his career as a textbook publisher in his father's firm, M.Seshachalam&Co., he entered general publishing after the nationalisation of textbooks in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh at a time when books other than translations from Bengali and Hindi were few and far between. He brought books from all corners of the country within reach of the common man through two innovative ventures : the Home Library Plan - which now covers at least 44,000 families- and EMESCO Pocket Books Programme, under which 450 books, in addition to classics, have been issued.

Rao played a significant role in all branches of publishing. He edited a magazine, Pusthaka Prapancham (Book World), and distributed books in India and abroad.

He served the publishing industry in several important capacities. As President of Federation of Publishers and Booksellers Associations in India he conducted seminars, symposia, training courses and workshops on book production in India and abroad. He was a member of the Book Publication Committee constituted by the Andhra Government to advise it on nationalisation of textbooks; Board of Trustees of Southern Languages Book Trust; Advisory committee of Madras Institute of Development Studies; a founder member of Publishers Association of South India, and Director of the Book Industry Council of South India


The publishing Hall of Fame was founded in 1987. It represents a simple idea pregnant with socially significant objectives and impact. The idea is to acknowledge, acclaim and honour those who have made outstanding contributions to the promotion of publishing and the cause of book culture in India. A society, which is obvious, unmindful or ungrateful, or lacks in the quality of affirmation and appreciation, inevitably experiences an erosion of values and decline of standards and momentum. An ancient country like India, with a glorious heritage of culture of learning and the learning of culture cannot afford to suffer such an erosion of values and decline of standards in the field of publishing and book culture.

The Indian publishing Hall of Fame is a token of our resolve to reinforce the fabric of those values, to strengthen the striving for standards of excellence and to build and sustain a dynamic momentum for promoting publishing and fostering book culture. This innovative idea and the initiative to implement it were widely welcomed when they were launched. I am confident the idea will prove itself in the fullness of time.

Induction into the Hall of Fame, though instituted by the Institute of Book Publishing, is not restricted to those directly engaged in the production and marketing of books. The scope of the idea and the operational plan extend to men and women who have in diverse ways contributed to the wider sphere of book culture: educationists, litterateurs, journalists, librarians, statesmen. Induction is not confined to those living among us.

The selection procedures have been built around a community of independent experts. Nominations for induction are received in four categories: Promotion of book culture; Promotion publishing Industry; book publishing; and book distribution. The Indian Publishing Hall of fame is one of the several programmes sponsored by the Institute of Publishing, non-profit-making body. Its other activities include organisation of training courses, seminars and workshops.


Selection Board Chairman

Sponsor of Induction in Indian Publishing Hall of Fame

Institute of Book Publishing

Sterling House

L-10,Green Park Extn. New Delhi-110016

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