Maharashtra begins distribution of textbooks for the academic year 2020-21

Balbharti, Maharashtra’s school publication bureau, has started distribution of textbooks for the academic year 2020-21, despite the uncertainty over the start of the new session because of the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, as the state has recorded the highest number of positive cases in the country.

Books for classes one and eight are being distributed to schools for free. Balbharti has also started sending books up to standard 12 to sellers from Monday.

“Care needs to be taken to ensure that there is no rush at the state’s depots if distributors come to collect books. The bureau has introduced an online registration system for booksellers. They can raise their demand on our website and also make online payments. Then, books can be collected from depots. Students can buy books when shops open after the lockdown restrictions are lifted,” Balbharti said in a press release.

A total of 57.3 million books would be distributed in schools across the state under the free books scheme for classes one and eight.

Similarly, 38.7 million books are being distributed through the state’s depots and private sellers. “In green and orange zones, shops are allowed to sell books. In red zones, some distributors are doing home deliveries,” said Vivek Gosavi, director, Balbharti.

Data shared by Balbharti showed that a total of 8.1 million downloads have been recorded on its official website, which has a portable document format (PDF) copies of books between Standard 1 and 12.”We’ve got a good response. We’re happy that even the books of the revised syllabus could reach students, despite the prevailing lockdown restrictions,” said Gosavi.

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