No publisher keen on supplying books, govt may turn to NCERT
The Uttarakhand school education department is likely to request the National Council of Educational Research and Training to publish and supply books to the state, if no publisher comes forward for the jobUpdated: Apr 23, 2018 21:49 IST
The Uttarakhand school education department is likely to request the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to publish and supply books to the state, if no publisher comes forward for the job, officials said.
Starting from this academic session (2018-19), NCERT books have been made compulsory for private schools affiliated to the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), apart from the government ones. The Uttarakhand high court backed the state government’s decision last week.
After two tenders for printing books got no response from a publisher, the department has floated a third tender relaxing norms. The caution money, which goes to the government treasury, has been reduced. Officials say there are bleak chances of publishers responding to the tender.
“If no publisher participates, then we have an option to ask the NCERT to provide the books,” said Alok Shekhar Tiwari, director general, school education.
Students need at least 50 lakh books in all 13 districts of the state, officials said. Government schools are already in short supply of NCERT books, and the additional requirement for private schools makes the department’s task tough.
The Centre’s decision to provide cash to students for buying books has put the state in a fix. Earlier, state authorities were provided funds with which board book sets were published and provided to students.
Now, the government will have to ensure availability of NCERT books in the market, so that government school students can purchase them from a registered publisher.
“The new system of transferring funds directly into students’ accounts is flawed. Initially, it was our responsibility to make books available to them, which created a sense of certainty,” a senior school education department official said, requesting anonymity.
“Now, we don’t know whether students will buy books from the amount given to them. We need to focus on making available the books in the market rather than to students,” he added.
The state has over 17000 government schools in which over 17 lakh students are enrolled.
First Published: Apr 23, 2018 21:49 IST