Delhi schools hit by pirated textbooks

April 4, 2014, 12:41 pm

Pirated CBSE textbooks, riddled with errors, are threatening the future of Delhi’s schoolchildren. What more, some schools in the Capital are allegedly hand in glove with the publishers of the pirated textbooks.
An investigation by the CBSE’s vigilance cell has unearthed a major racket involving gangs that are publishing pirated and duplicate textbooks in various cities and supplying them to Delhi. The probe also suggested that few schools and bookstores are creating scarcity of textbooks to give monetary gains to the publishers of the duplicate books, a CBSE official said on the condition of anonymity. The board has now filed a complaint with the Delhi Police.

"The rush with which these books are being illegally printed and pushed into the markets are causing a lot of textual errors, including wrong pagination, that are causing a lot of confusion among the students. Some of the common mistakes found are misspelt names of leaders and lot of wrong answers in the mathematics books for students of standard 9-12," said a senior CBSE official who requested anonymity.

Students reading pirated English textbooks could be completely baffled because of the wrong pagination. Officials said that the exercises in the textbooks may not match with the lessons due to wrong pagination.

"While investigating, we found particular bookstores facing shortage of books all the time. We then noticed that despite enough supply, the scarcity still persisted. Later, those bookstores had surplus stock. If CBSE didn’t reprint the books then how did they get surplus stock?" a CBSE official quipped.

There are many schools who ask students to purchase books from particular shops and few schools are under the scanner, the official added. It is possible that schools, bookstores and publishers have a nexus and the Delhi Police’s EOW will verify all the facts as CBSE has filed an FIR on the matter. After conducting an inquiry, CBSE found that the duplicate books are being published in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi and few other parts of the country. Due to a huge demand, Delhi is getting supplies of these pirated books from various cities, a CBSE official said.

Police to probe

According to a police officer, CBSE has not submitted any evidence so far. A police officer said that CBSE hardly reprints books. Demand is always higher than the supply.

"These facts raise various questions and would also be investigated. Such books are published at Nai Sarak and Purani Dilli in the Capital and many publishers are involved in the crime," the officer added.

Such publishers give 30-40 per cent on these books, sources said. The board came to know about these gangs after it was noticed that sales of CBSE books were going down at some places.