Students, parents, teachers and schools can now purchase textbooks of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) online.

The Council has come up with a new web portal where orders can be placed and text books would be delivered to the address of the purchaser.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development (HRD) Upendra Kushwaha launched the portal here on Wednesday.

As of now, the NCERT will deliver the books by post against the orders to be placed by individuals. In case of schools, the Council will ask the nearest vendor in its list to deliver the books.

The Council is also holding talks with certain private e-commerce companies including amazon.com for online purchase and supply of its textbooks.

“We are negotiating with Amazon and others. It will take some time to finalise a deal with them. Students, parents, teachers and schools can log onto our portal www.ncertbooks.ncert.gov.in and place orders. We will deliver the books to the purchaser's address by post. We have about 180 vendors in our list. Delivery of books to schools will be made through these vendors,” NCERT director Hrushikesh Senapaty told reporters.

The portal will ensure better distribution of textbooks across the country and will also address the apprehensions, on the part of schools and parents, regarding unavailability of the NCERT textbooks, School Education Department Secretary of the HRD Ministry Anil Swarup added.

The schools can log on to the portal, by entering their respective Boards’ affiliation numbers and other details, till September 8 for placing their orders for the session 2018-19.

“At the time of placing the orders, the schools are not required to make the payment; the payment can be made just before the supply,” Senapaty said

Purchasing of the books from the NCERT portal, however, is not mandatory for the schools. They can continue procuring textbooks either directly from their nearest NCERT-empaneled vendors or from the regional production-cum-distribution centres (RPDCs) of the Council located in Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Guwahati, and Bengaluru.

Students would also continue to have the option of downloading the NCERT textbooks free of cost from the council's website.

The Central Board of Secondary Education has written to all the schools affiliated to it to consider procuring books from the NCERT web portal.

“The government schools are already using NCERT textbooks. We are not making it mandatory for private schools to purchase NCERT books. Claims that the NCERT books are inferior in quality compared to the textbooks of other publishers is not correct. All the Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidhayalas use NCERT books and the performance of the students of these schools are better than others every year,” the HRD Ministry secretary said.

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