A day after the Congress alleged that the state government had paid higher rates for purchasing books supplied for supplementary reading to state school students from Class I to VIII, School Education Minister Vinod Tawde justified the purchase saying the quality of paper and printing were better in books being procured by the government and hence cost higher than market rates of the same titles.
“The books available for Rs 20 are in black and white, small in size and printed on simple paper. However, the books purchased at Rs 50 are larger in size, printed using art paper and thicker GSM paper. Also, these books have colour printing,” said Tawde. Tawde also dismissed allegations that the title Bal Nachiket has any obscene or objectionable content. “The books referred by the opposition parties are old books. The books being purchased by the department do not have any obscene or objectionable content,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Congress had alleged that the state has paid a higher price than the market rate for some of the titles. Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, opposition leader in the Assembly, alleged that the government had favoured one publisher, Bharatiya Vichar Sadhana, Pune, owing to its alleged links with the RSS. These books are among 1.3 crore copies of various titles purchased by the state government as supplementary reading material. They were purchased by the School Education Department’s Maharashtra Academic Authority, Pune.