NCERT books may have been released into the market a few months back, but several subject textbooks are still missing from the sales counters.
Harried students are left with no option but to pay a visit to the NCERT counter to purchase books. Worst-hit are Class XI students who complain that hardly any textbooks are available for them in the market.
Books for subjects like Geography, Math, Physics, Economics, English and Hindi are unavailable in shops across the city. “I had to visit the NCERT counter to purchase books for my son who studies in Class VI. Class XI books are also unavailable.
"I visited NCERT to purchase the math books for my nephew and his classmates who attend an east Delhi school. There were at least 500 parents waiting at the counter,” said Achala Sabyasachi, a resident of Saket.
Sabyasachi has been paying regular trips to the NCERT counter to purchase books for the children of her colleagues and relatives who live in far-flung areas. “It’s been three months since the academic year started and its high time these books were made available,” she said.
NCERT officials, on the other hand, say there is no paucity of books and the scarcity is falsely created by publishers out to make a quick buck. “One class XI geography book was released a little late. But our print order, based on last year’s sales figures, has been increased by at least 30 per cent,” said an NCERT official.
NCERT says “large-scale hoarding” by agents and distributors has created a scarcity situation. “We raided shops in Nai Sarak, Karol Bagh and Gol Market last week to identify hoarders. We detected several shops that refused books had actually hoarded books and were selling them at a higher price,” said Ashish Bahad, NCERT spokesperson.