NCERT to review books for 1st time since 2007

While some books published by the CBSE are still not available in the market, NCERT books are available with empanelled vendors and schools.

NEW DELHI: The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) will review all its books as they were created over a decade ago and need to be updated, council director Hrushikesh Senapaty said. The books were created in 2007.

In an exclusive conversation with TOI, Senapaty said textbooks were not being revised and NCERT was only reviewing the books in a systematic way.

Distinguishing between the two, he said, "Revision of books and curriculum framework is a policy decision which will be taken at the level of the HRD ministry, and it is a massive task. What we are doing right now is reviewing the books, which is to plug the gaps.

These books were created in 2007 and there is a lot of information that needs to be updated." NCERT said it was ready to supply books to all CBSE schools and that scarcity of books was artificially created.

Earlier this year, at the behest of the HRD ministry, CBSE schools were asked to raise indents for NCERT textbooks and over 2,000 schools did so, making a booking of over five million books.

With the quality of textbooks of some private publishers coming in for criticism and CBSE lodging an FIR against one recently, Senapaty said, "There is no compromise on quality of content of NCERT books. It is based on the national curriculum framework. One really can't say the same for private publishers.

Moreover, the council is also looking at the quality of printing so that we can give the best. However, our books are highly subsidised and one can't compare a book costing Rs 50 with another which is Rs 300."

Of late, parents as well as schools have complained about the scarcity of NCERT textbooks. The HRD ministry earlier this year had asked NCERT and CBSE to ensure supply of books on time, that is before the start of the academic session in April.

While some books published by the CBSE are still not available in the market, NCERT books are available with empanelled vendors and schools.

"We have enough books in stock. If any school is facing problem, they should either contact the nearest vendor or the NCERT headquarters as there is no shortage of any kind. Yes, there has been a tradition of creating artificial scarcity by private publishers.

We have supplied books to over 2,000 CBSE schools this year and there are 20 other state boards which are either using NCERT books or using our copyright," Senapaty said.

The council has also taken up mainstreaming of regional diversity. According to Senapaty, in terms of books, the northeast, which has eight states, is the focus area for the council.

"We recently published a book on the diversity in culture and tradition among people coming from the northeast region. We are also planning a book on women achievers from the region," he said.




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