BOSEM running against time; sets April 18 deadline

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IMPHAL April 9: Amidst the controversial issue of non availability of BOSEM prescribed text books in the market and the Manipuri Students Federation (MSF) recent expose of sale of SSA books meant for free distribution and text books without hologram by book stores in Imphal area. Secretary of the concerned department L Rajmohan announced that the text books will be made available on or before April 18.

The murky state of affairs was deliberated along with representatives of the education department and student bodies including the MSF, DESAM and AMSU on April 7 at Bengali High School. The representatives of the printing firms also attended the meeting.

A reliable source said that the meeting ended inconclusively as officials of the education department were unable to answer questions directed by the student body representatives in the regard.

It was learnt that out of the 62 firms that printings orders were issued to, only 42 representatives were present at the meeting held at Bengali High School.The opinion of the 20 absentees is yet to be ascertained. Most of the printing press representatives proposed to meet the demand within the last week of April stating that the master copy of new syllabus and old syllabus books were provided to them late i.e on March 3, 2011.

Printing firms also claimed that there were several shortages faced by them. One firm stated that there was shortage of staff as some had taken leave to appear for the HSLC exams. Another firm claimed that, due to the road extension project of the government, the firm office along with heavy machineries had to be shifted and hence cannot complete the work on schedule.

After much deliberation, the printing firms promised to deliver the goods within April 20 to 25 and at the least by April 30.
Further, the firm responsible for supplying book covers for 51 new text books is yet to deliver the covers. Printing order for 15 books were given to one firm ,which is beyond the capacity of the firm in meeting the deadline. At present there are only 12 finished text book with BOSEM, the source said.

A representative of a student body had also inquired if BOSEM in collusion with the printing firms are supplying text books to the book stores as SSA books meant for free distribution and Board textbooks without authentication hologram were found selling at the market.

It may be mentioned that the MSF has initiated a drive from today onwards to check the pilferage of SSA text books and un authentic BOSEM prescribed textbooks.

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