NEW DELHI: Nearly two weeks have passed since the new academic session started, but students in Delhi are still waiting for quite a few National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks.
The students of classes X and XII particularly are facing a hard time as the pre-summer vacation session (April to mid-May) is the shortest academic period of the calendar year. It is also crucial for them as it is introductory session of the syllabus.
“I am looking for the geography book for class IX and it is not available anywhere,” said a student of Bal Bhavan School, Mayur Vihar.
“I was looking for the book Indian Society for class XII. After not getting it anywhere, I went to a NCERT store. There too, they said the book is not available and they don’t know when they will have it,” said another student.
However, according to the NCERT, the shortage of books in Delhi is because the state government was not printing adequate books for its schools.
“We have given the copyright to the Delhi government, but it has printed just 30% to 40% of the books for its schools. Due to this, government school students are banking on the books published by the NCERT, which is creating a shortage. However, all the books will soon be available in the market,” said Hrushikesh Senapaty, director, NCERT.
According to another official, the council publishes books as per demand from the private and other central government-run schools. It has given copyrights to the state governments to publish the books for their own schools.
Meanwhile, a North Delhi-based wholesaler-enlisted by the NCERT-said some textbooks were still under print by the council itself., which is also a reason for non-availability.
The principalin south Delhi, however, said “wholesalers too try to create a fake scarcity around this time. They either divert books to other areas or sell them for a higher profit. Or simply, they do it to promote books by private publishers for higher profits. So the students have no other option but to first buy the books of the private publishers and when after a month or so the NCERT books are available, they have to buy the books again.”
A wholesale agent at Nai Sadak agreed. “We get around 20% commission for NCERT books. The pricing of NCERT books is such that the profit is too less. But, in case of private publishers’ books, we not only get 40% to 50% as commission, but also better profit margin as the books are costly.”
The sad part is that, students are the actual sufferers in this whole chaos.