Gaya/Muzaffarpur, April 24: The short supply of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) books prescribed for classes I to X and the subsequent inflow of their pirated versions full of errors in the market has landed students in a state of confusion in the new academic session.
With the original books not available in the market, students are purchasing pirated books fearing they would not be able to follow classes. But the mistakes in them are leading to confusions in classrooms and homes.
The unavailability of NCERT textbooks has become a routine in almost all parts of the state. To aggravate the problem, the crisis has paved way for those engaged in the pirated book trade.
While the original NCERT curriculum books are not available in the market, their pirated versions can be found at almost every shop. But the pirated versions are full of printing and factual errors. Second, the pirated versions cause revenue loss to the actual publishers in terms of royalty and other benefits.
Repeated attempts to contact NCERT authorities proved futile.
Rishu Kumar, a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Gaya, told The Telegraph that mathematics and English books were not available in the market.
Nisha, Rakesh Kumar and Vishal Kumar, all students of Class IX of the same school, complained that Hindi books were not available either.
Kendriya Vidyalaya’s Class X students Anshika Rashi and Rahul Kumar said there was shortage of history books also.
Some students of senior classes are opting for printouts of textbooks downloaded from the Net owing to the lack of original books in the market.
The NCERT books prescribed by ICSE and CBSE schools are not available in Muzaffarpur, too. The short supply has affected the teaching process.
With NCERT books not available in the market, students are compelled to buy expensive books of private publishers that have no similarity to the syllabi of the CBSE and ICSE.
Principal of St Xavier’s High School, Muzaffarpur, A.K. Dutta said: “NCERT books are a rare commodity these days. The Union human resource development department should ponder over publishing NCERT books on a large scale to cater to the needs of the students in higher secondary schools under CBSE and ICSE pattern.”
The NCERT books have a huge market in the state. Ajit Agarwal, the owner of Sahitya Sadan bookshop, said the market for NCERT books in Gaya is around Rs 2 crore. Apart from the two Kendriya Vidyalayas, more than 100 non-CBSE-affiliated private schools in the city follow NCERT books in their curriculum.
The reason behind following NCERT books is their low price. An NCERT book, up to Class VIII, is sold at Rs 30. The textbooks prescribed for above Class VIII are also cheaper.
However, NCERT books are always in short supply and the students do not get them at the beginning of the academic session. Apart from regular students of different classes, those preparing for the competitive examinations also follow NCERT books.