Published: 15th May 2017
NCERT books forced onto schools, even though there are better books out there
CBSE forces schools to prescribe to NCERT textbooks only, and the Delhi High Court is on the verge of responding to a plea seeking to demolish this new rule
The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Centre on a plea seeking to quash of a CBSE
circular allegedly forcing schools to prescribe textbooks printed by printers empanelled with the NCERT only.
Justice A K Pathak issued a notice to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and sought their replies on the petition filed by Independent Schools Federation of India.
The plea alleged that certain printers in the panel of NCERT had "conspired" to create a monopoly in matters of publication of books.
The petition filed by advocate Ravi Prakash Gupta said the CBSE had in an April 1 circular, issued a direction to the affiliated schools to prescribe books only of those publishers which were in the panel of NCERT.The plea said this would "jeopardize innovation" in the making of the textbooks.
"Giving sole responsibility to NCERT textbooks for its prescriptions in schools, will not only monopolize textbook preparation in the country but shall also jeopardize the innovation associated with the making of textbooks. Recently, through a circular issued by CBSE, schools are forced to prescribe textbooks printed only by printers empanelled with the NCERT. This is totally against Rule 15(1)
(d) of Affiliation Bye-laws as per which the schools will follow the textbooks published by NCERT for the Middle Classes as far as practical," it said.
It further said that NCERT neither has the mandate of publishing school textbooks nor can it manage to ensure timely preparation and publication or textbooks in all subjects in the entire spectrum of school education, adding that the NCERT has a more focused role in research and training.
Giving sole responsibility to NCERT textbooks for its prescriptions in schools will monopolize textbook preparation in the country
The plea also claimed that the "textbooks prepared and published by private schools from other publishers are composed by renowned writers having vast experience in the field of teaching. These writers are far-far better than those recruited by NCERT for composing textbooks," it said.