Staff crisis has hit the Odisha State Bureau of Textbook Preparation and the Text Book Printing Press.
While the Odisha State Bureau of Textbook Preparation, also known as the Textbook Bureau, is assigned to produce higher education textbooks in regional language, the Text Book Printing Press under the School and Mass Education Department prints and distributes books for school children.
Textbook Bureau has been facing acute shortage of staff due to retirement on superannuation of most of the ministerial staff. As on date, five posts of junior assistants in the organisation are lying vacant. Besides, there are only two production officers and five senior assistants. There is one diarist-cum-despatcher. The Bureau has been in the publication field since 1970.
Similarly, although the Text Book Printing Press has got a new look, its staff shortage issue is yet to be addressed.Established in 1962, many of the machines in the Printing Press had become obsolete by 1978 and not much work was being done here though it had the infrastructure.
As a result, production and supply of books were hit to a large extent. To meet the rising demand of textbooks for students of Class I to VII, new machines were installed last year and the printing press was modernised. However, problem of staff shortage continues.
Against the sanctioned posts of 642, there are only around 371 staff in the departmental printing press and mostly machine man, binder and attendant posts are lying vacant. Every month, some technical staff retire with no new appointment being made in their place.
Besides regular staff, there are 90 daily wagers who have been working in the press for last 15 years. They have been demanding regularisation of service since long.
Sources in the Higher Education Department said while the government had this month decided to fill up the five junior assistant posts in Odisha State Bureau of Textbook Preparation for the time being, staff crisis in Text Book Printing Press is being looked into.
"Recently, Board of Governors headed by Higher Education Minister decided that five junior assistant posts will be filled up through Odisha Staff Selection Commission. Accordingly, notifications have been issued," said an official.