Delay from Centre Affects School Libraries In Odisha

A delay in approval from Central Project Approval Board (PAB) and directive from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is affecting the procurement of library books for schools required for the current academic session. The School and Mass Education Department has admitted, that due to this reason, there has been a delay in the procurement of library books for elementary and secondary schools.

As per a recent written reply made in the Assembly by School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Das, the Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) has placed its proposal in the regard before the PAB and is awaiting approval from their end. The Minister also added that Rs 45.95 crore has been set aside for the purchase of these books.

The books will be circulated in 55,103 schools with 49,425 books being sent to libraries in elementary schools and 5,588 books to secondary schools. However, PAB’s approval is not the only stumbling block. According to the Minister, Odisha has not received any directive from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for purchase of books in the current academic session.

“The approval is generally received by early July, however, it has been delayed this year,” said an official from the OPEPA.

Notably, Rs 18.23 crore has been designated this year by the School and Mass Education Department for libraries in all government and government-aided high schools. Schools with less than students will supposedly get Rs 20,000, while those with more than 200 students will receive Rs 25,000 to enhance their libraries.