IMPHAL, April 20: The April 18 deadline served to publishing firms to submit textbooks has been extended till April 30 by four major students`™ bodies taking into consideration the grievances faced by the firms.
Nevertheless it urged publishing firms to surrender all the relevant materials required in printing the textbooks by tomorrow if they considered the deadline cannot be met or face punitive action.
The announcement was made during a joint press conference held at the Keishampat office of KSA. During the meet representatives of all the students`™ bodies which included the All Manipur Students`™ Union (AMSU), Democratic Students`™ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), Kangleipak Students`™ Association (KSA) and Manipuri Students`™ Federation (MSF).
The representatives of the students`™ bodies while clarifying on softening its stands on the dateline recalled that it was set during a joint meeting between the students`™ bodies, BOSEM and the representatives of the publishing firms held at Bengali High school. The next day a survey was conducted as the deadline could not be met by some of the firms.
They maintained that the deadline was extended conceding to the apprehension of complete scarcity of books in the state if all the firms are black listed at the same time.
At the same time the students`™ bodies these firms apprise of unavoidable technical difficulties. They however said that most of the firms provided with the contract are reluctant to acknowledge the interest of the students in the face of the grim situation except financial gains.
They warned that action is inevitable this time if the firms fail to live up with the second chance.
It appealed the BOSEM to be careful in giving contracts in the future and urged to carefully examine before giving the contracts.
Further during the meet the students`™ bodies pointed out that some of the firms are totally behind schedule and they have been asked to surrender their materials to BOSEM. It pointed out that Wizard Computers Printing Sagolband, one of the publishing firms was awarded with 15 different textbooks and the entire number of books to be printed is 30,000. Of the 15 books only six books were likely to be complete in time while the rest, which is not on the verge of printing by the firm was handed over to other firms.
Another two printing firms which included The Printers, Yaiskul and Byte computers were in similar position they were entrusted with printing of 2000 copies of textbooks.
The joint body disclosed that they further made a surprise discovery that a group without the knowledge of a publishing firm claimed the printing contracts from BOSEM adding it urged the group to surrender their contract to BOSEM.
In the meantime, the joint students`™ bodies strongly decried the attitude of the concerned education minister for remaining a mute spectator to the prevailing situation.