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Rockstand partners with READ India for rural learning initiatives

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Rockstand has partnered with READ India to give away various e-books to villagers at 16 READ India centres across the country. This will include various e-books, e-newspapers and e-magazines that users will be able to access through installed ‘MLibrary Kiosk’ at READ centers.

The companies mention that the first MLibrary initiative was inaugurated on the 22nd of May at the READ Model Center in Dwarka, New Delhi. The event included a training program to educate villagers on how to use the app and the MLibrary mechanism, and claims to have offered books worth Rs 1.5 crore to the villagers. The organizations also claim that the content read by users is monitored, so volunteers can better guide students in areas of their interest.

For a start, the initiative will be piloted in 3 centres by June end, in Delhi, Gurgaon and Jhajar. The initiative will then be expanded to cover the rest of READ’s 13 centres in Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Manipur, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal within the next 6 months. Founded in 2001, Rights Education and Development Center (READ) is an NGO that works with underprivileged and economically oppressed people.

Handygo owned e-books and digital magazine storefront Rockstand, offers a collection of e-books and digital magazines that can be accessed via its Android, iOS and Windows Phone app. It also offers fiction and nonfiction reading across genres ranging from health to kids, travel and cooking. It claims to have 150,000 titles including over 1500 magazines live on its platform, apart from newspapers. The platform also claims to offer mCoaching material to students from over 100 coaching institutions across India.

Note that the current e-book market in India is estimated to be less than 1% of the total book market. According to a market intelligence study by Netscribes, the country’s e-book market will grow by 20–25% in the next 2–3 years.

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Rockstand Content Tie-ups:

Over the past year or so, Rockstand had inked quite a few content partnerships to expand its content base. These include:

– Added a collection of CBSE preparatory material for most subjects of classes 10 & 12 to its app in February this year. It tied up with publishers like S.Chand & Co, Jiwan Publishing House (JPH Books), Full Marks, MBD Group, TERI Press, Lakshmi Publications, HarAnand and Jagran Josh for the initiative.

– A deal for 52 titles from Nirali Prakashan, 27 titles of Nachiket Prakashan and 8 titles by Diamond Publications

– An agreement with Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Green Books and DC Books last month, to bring Malayalam content to its platform.

– A tie-up with Wiley Publications India for academic e-books.

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– A tie-up with Ingram Content Group for e-books in March this year.

– An agreement with publishers including M-Y Books, Network 18 Publications, Kalki Magazine, Pearl publications, Sapna book house, VJM Media Group and Sharda Prakashan in September 2013.

– A tie-up with Delhi Press, BPB Publications, Magna Publishing, Next-Gen Publishing and Hay market for more content in August 2013.

– A tie-up with Diamond Comic Books, OM Books, Rajkamal Prakashan, Katha, Times Group and Pratham in February 2013.

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