Facing acute shortage, U’khand to ask NCERT publishers in other states to publish books

Facing shortage of over 25 lakh NCERT books for government and CBSE-affiliated private schools, Uttarakhand school education department will now request NCERT publishers in adjoining states like Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to publish books for it

dehradun Updated: Jun 12, 2018 17:47 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Of 90 lakh National Council of Educational Research and Training books, the state government has managed to provide 65 lakh books to students.(HT Photo)

Facing shortage of over 25 lakh NCERT books for government and CBSE-affiliated private schools, Uttarakhand school education department will now request NCERT publishers in adjoining states like Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to publish books for it.

Of 90 lakh National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) books, the state government has managed to provide 65 lakh books to students.

Officers said books for major subjects like English, science and mathematics have already been made available. But, books for allied subjects Sanskrit, home science, agriculture and others are unavailable.

“No publisher is coming forward to publish books for fringe subjects like arts, home science and others. So, we might ask the NCERT authorised publishers of adjoining states to provide us the books,” said Alok Shekhar Tiwari, director general (DG) of school education.

School education minister Arvind Pandey took a review meeting with officers on Monday and was disappointed with acute shortage of books.

The state-run and CBSE-affiliated private schools are at present closed due to summer vacations. But, the reopening is on 2 July. The minister has directed officers to ensure availability of books before schools reopens.

Officials close to the matter said there were 19 vendors in Uttarakhand who are supplying NCERT books. But, these books are non-subsidised.

The government inked a memorandum of understanding with the NCERT, promising to publish books here so that they could be made available to students at subsidised rates. But, no publisher is interested.

“The books are available in the market. NCERT vendors and private publishers are providing books. But, the rates are higher than ours, because these books are not subsidised. This means that there’s no shortage of books. Only, the subsidized books are not in the market,” a senior education officer said requesting anonymity.

The department has also sent a proposal to the government seeking permission of buying books directly from NCERT.

“No publisher is interested in publishing books here because they know that the books are already available-no matter at a little higher price. Most of the students will buy these books and until the publisher will provide his books, he won’t have a market left,” another education officer informed.

The minister, however, is determined. “I have asked to ensure availability of books. The officers will do so by this month,” Pandey said.

First Published: Jun 12, 2018 17:47 IST