Although there are uncertainties over the beginning of new academic year in schools in Maharashtra due to the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown, the state's school publication bureau Balbharati has started distribution of textbooks for the academic year 2020-21.
Balbharati said in a press note that a total of 57.3 million books would be distributed in schools across the state under the free books scheme for standards one to eight. It also said that it has started distributing books for up to standard 12 to distributors and sellers from Monday. Also, 38.7 million books are being distributed through the state’s depots and private sellers.
Vivek Gosavi, director, Balbharati, said, "In green and orange zones, shops are allowed to sell books. In red zones, some distributors have started home deliveries.”
According to Balbharati, a total of 8.1 million downloads have been recorded on its official website, which has PDF format copies of books between standard one and 12.
"We’ve got a good response. We’re happy that even the books of the revised syllabus could reach students, despite the prevailing lockdown restrictions," said Gosavi.
However, Balbharati highlighted that care should be taken to ensure there is no rush at the state's depots if distributors come to collect books.
"The bureau has introduced an online registration system for booksellers. They can raise their demand on our website and also make online payments. Books can then be collected from depots. Students can buy books when shops open after the lockdown restrictions are lifted,” it stated.