Monday, April 22, 2024

Why are MBOSE books not regularly supplied?


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With reference to the letter titled “Shortage of MBOSE textbooks troubling parents and booksellers” (ST Feb 27, 2024) by Salil Gewali, I, as the proprietor of Hima Book Stall, am also deeply disturbed by uncooperative behavior of Delhi-based publishers. Textbooks from certain publishers, which are prescribed by MBOSE from 2024, have not been supplied as expected, thereby causing great problems for both booksellers and schools across the state.
One publishing company demanded from us full payment in advance before dispatching the books. Despite sending full payment on February 16 the company only supplied a few books totaling approximately Rs 30,000 (thirty thousand rupees only). As of now, they have not supplied major subject books of MBOSE such as Social Science for Class-9 and Mathematics for Class-10, approximately totaling Rs 103,000 which is with them till date.
Despite sending numerous reminders, we received no response from this company until March 8. Such irresponsible behavior from publishers is concerning. We fear that even if the company dispatches the books now from Delhi, they will not reach until about twenty days later thereby severely affecting the academic calendar of Meghalaya. Transporting books from Delhi to Shillong is a biggest challenge for all booksellers in Meghalaya. This fact has been highlighted by Salil Gewali also. We wonder why the Government needs to prescribe the books from those publishers who are not trustworthy.
Furthermore, another two companies also have not supplied even a single copy of the books on Environment for Classes 4 and 5 to most of the booksellers who have to redistribute the same books to schools in remote areas. We also fail to understand why the company — “Rachna Sagar” printed only 3,200 copies of the book on Environment titled, “Together with Environment for Class-5.” Will this small quantity meet the requirements of the books for the entire state, especially considering that many private schools also follow MBOSE-approved books for their students?
The surmounting problem that we as booksellers are facing will ultimately affect students and schools in Meghalaya. The logistical problems and lack of cooperation from publishers are serious concerns for our state. The government must find better options to address the book crisis in the state. Considering the yearly crisis of books as cited above, it is very important that the government promotes local Meghalaya-based publishers to reduce the state’s dependency on Delhi.
Yours etc.,
Marbudshan Nongkhlaw
Proprietor Hima book stall

Common platform for candidates
The four hundred- and ninety-five-words editorial “Common platform for election campaign” (ST March 9, 2024) made interesting reading. The editorial rightly advocated for a neutral platform where Lok Sabha election candidates can present their goals and party stance to the public and emphasizes the need for a two-way dialogue, where the public can ask questions and receive satisfactory answers from the candidates. The candidates should discuss their planned tasks in the Lok Sabha rather than launch personal attacks. The editorial also criticizes VPP’s walkout over the use of Hindi in the Assembly as a superficial display of regionalism and rightly stressed the practical necessity of Hindi for business and education outside Meghalaya. Also it rightly underscored the need for decorum and issue – focused discussions at these common platforms. I remember of such a platform in Raliang, Jaintia Hills in 1999 which was organised by the Dorbar Shnong where the two Hill State stalwarts, (Late)Paty Ripple Kyndiah, INC and (Late) Stanlington D. Khongwir of the UDP debated what they would do in Lok Sabha. Ultimately the former scored 145020 votes and the latter 107197 votes. However, it was a lively and sober debate on goals and party stance.
Yours etc.,
VK Lyngdoh,
Via email

Integrity of food/water testing laboratories
On March 3, 2024, two mobile food testing laboratories were flagged off in Shillong, presumably as part of a central project (since the same was also launched in Assam). This is very commendable, and it is hoped that it will go a long way towards safeguarding the health interests of the public.
But one thing comes to my mind – why does the government launch these new programmes that only supplement the existing government services, without strengthening the existing infrastructure? Take the case of the State Food Testing Laboratory in Pasteur Hills, Shillong. This laboratory is unable to provide the Test Report of water samples submitted even after a month and a half! I wonder whether the problem is that there are not enough laboratory technicians to cater to the volume of samples submitted for testing. If so, why is this obstacle not being first tackled by the government instead of launching new laboratories where additional lab techs have to be appointed? Or is it that priority is given to samples of commercial establishments over those of private households? Only the Directorate of Health Services (MI) can answer these questions.
However, a more serious concern of mine is the integrity of the water sample submitted. The conditions set by the laboratory are that (a) the sample bottle provided must be used in seven days, and (b) the sample water collected has to be submitted for testing within 24 hours. Now if the sample is lying untested for six weeks, then how does the lab maintain the integrity of the sample? Can the reports then be relied upon as being accurate?
These are concerns that the DHS (MI) has to address, so that there are no misgivings in the minds of the public.
Yours etc.,
Eugene D. Thomas,


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