Book piracy impacts students

As a parent, it worries me. The pirated versions of NCERT textbooks in English have flooded the markets. An informal conversation with a bookseller revealed the bookstores get approximately 20 per cent more commission when they sell pirated texts. In addition, this is a cash blow to the Council, plus the pressure on approved vendors.

20 Mar 2019 | By Sriraam Selvam

The situation in Kochi is grim. Bookstores are selling the NCERT textbooks even though the Council-approved vendors who are based in Bengaluru haven't dispatched the lot. The books are supplied to the vendors in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Lakshadweep from the regional production-cum-distribution centre in Bengaluru.

The book plot thickens, further. 30,000 pirated NCERT books worth Rs 50 lakh were seized in the national capital. According to reports in the mainstream media, the Delhi Police arrested a 28-year-old man who headed a printing press in Delhi’s Gazipur village.

According to experts, there has been a spurt in demand for the NCERT books. This was because the HRD Ministry made it mandatory for CBSE-affiliated schools. Which is how pirated NCERT books of Mathematics, Hindi, English, Economics, Chemistry, Hindi and History of Class VI to XII began to be published at this unit. To meet "the demand."

While the Delhi piracy looks like a case of an enterprising printer committing chicanery, the story in Kerala plays out differently. The buzz is the NCERT-contracted press has a role in publishing and releasing pirated textbooks in the state. Whosoever the culprit the fact is education has suffered at the altar of greed. And students will suffer at a time the special classes for the new academic year have begun.