Published: 17th May 2022
Karnataka: Delay in textbook supply tied to power crisis, Russia-Ukraine war
Primary and Secondary Education Minister of Karnataka, BC Nagesh, has warned the printers that they would be penalised if the textbooks are not delivered on time
As the new academic year began on Monday, May 16, in Karnataka and the printers have suspended printing, there is a concern over the timely supply of textbooks to school children. Though such delays recur every year, the crisis this year may be attributed to coal and power shortage triggered by the Russian-Ukraine war.
Education Department officials and members of the Karnataka Textbook Society (KTBS) said textbooks could be ready only by June. “We have told printers that this is of utmost priority. The main reason for the delay is the war crisis,” said MP Madegowda, Director of KTBS.
The India Paper Manufacturers' Association (IPMA) too blamed it on the power crisis triggered by the war. Deepak Mittal, President of the Federation of Paper Traders’ Associations of India (FPTA), said there are a number of issues. “The price of coal has definitely increased production costs by 25-30 per cent. There is also an overall dip in production. However, with the start of offline classes this academic year, the demand has increased, especially for printing of textbooks,” he added.
“As of now, buffer stocks for coal are getting low. If the crisis continues and there is any disruption in coal supplies and resulting power cuts, it will definitely cause problems,” he added.
Printers have already alerted the government that they are facing a shortage of raw materials. But Primary and Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh recently warned the printers that they would be penalised if textbooks are not supplied on time.