Follow Us:
Friday, May 27, 2022

Photocopying on Campus: Delhi University has its own press, but ‘no books are printed here’

Officials say they only print question papers and answer sheets, no other plans as of now.

Written by Aranya Shankar , Mallica Joshi | New Delhi |
December 19, 2016 12:22:35 am
photocopy, illegal photocopying, delhi university, photocopy, du photocopy, delhi university photocopy case, photocopy verdict, delhi high court, indian express news, india news Dharampal at his photocopy shop in North Campus. (Express Photo: Oinam Anand)

As courts decided whether “coursepacks” — made after photocopying specific chapters from books — were legal, students across colleges were scrambling to get reading material in place before exams started.

Delhi University students, especially those from humanities, rarely buy course books, but the University Grants Commission’s readings list for many subjects has remained more or less the same over the last 10 years, making many wonder why the university doesn’t just buy licences to reproduce certain in-demand books to make things easier for students.

Also Read | Photocopying on campus: Ctrl C, Ctrl V

“Each year, teachers ask us to hunt for a few books in the library and photocopy certain chapters from them. The syllabus changed in 2011, but in certain subjects, the coursepacks have remained the same for the last 10 years. I’m sure a system, wherein the university can print books that have the mandatory readings in it, can be devised. It’s too cumbersome otherwise,” said Aanchal Srivastava, a History student who wrote her fifth semester exams last week.

Best of Express Premium
What makes KuCoin P2P Trading Platform a Good Choice To Buy Crypto?Premium
Airtel Demonstrates Immersive Video Entertainment On 5G; Recreates Kapi...Premium
Is It A Good Idea To Keep One Account For All Your Financial Transactions?Premium
Touching The Sky : SIMS, Pune Alumni On A Path To Make A DifferencePremium

Watch what else is in the news

Universities across the world have their own printing presses, many of which publish and reprint books. The Oxford University Press and the Harvard University Press, in fact, are among the most well-regarded presses for academic publishing in the world.

The Delhi University Press, on the other hand, does not publish books, neither does it reprint them.

“We only print question papers, answer sheets, etc. No books are printed here. As far as I know, there are no plans to acquire licences from publishers to reprint their work,” said D S Rawat, who heads the DU Press.

Other university officials also confirmed that there was no plan to go into printing books as of now.

“When we talk of Delhi University taking licence from the Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation (IRRO) and publishing books at a low cost, we’re only looking at it from an academic point of view. The practical aspect is that once somebody purchases a book, it becomes their property. There was a time when photostat machines were in shops with registration numbers. Today, phone cameras can snap a 300-word book in minutes. One can transfer those images to their email IDs and then get them printed,” said an official who did not wish to be named.

“Photocopy shops may be facing an issue because they’re photocopying, binding and selling material as if they are books. But I don’t think it can be stopped. If international publishers tie up with local publishers in developing countries and sell books at a lower cost, this issue can be resolved when the entire book is required,” he added.

For science students, e-publishing has made things a little easier.

“Many of the books that we want students to read are now available online for free or from the university network. Also, in science disciplines, it is usually entire books that are required to be read and not just a few chapters,” Rawat, who also teaches chemistry, said.

Institutions such as IIT-Delhi have put all its textbooks online. These can be accessed using the internal local area network. In addition to this, universities pay for subscriptions from renowned e-journals.

Some teachers, however, said there is no need for the university to seek a licence at all.

“IRRO comes in only if there is no basic right to photocopy. Here, the law has specifically carved out an exception for education, under which we do not have to pay fees to anyone for copying for the purposes of instruction. Further, IRRO has been found to raise its rates arbitrarily, against which there are several protests,” said DU Sociology professor Nandini Sundar.

Latest Comment
View All Comments
Post Comment
Read Comments

Start your day the best way
with the Express Morning Briefing

For all the latest Delhi News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard

Featured Stories

'Rajiv Kapoor said I may be Raj Kapoor's son but I have nothing': Dalip T...
Shah Rukh Khan reveals wife Gauri Khan's rules inside their home Mannat: ...
Shah Rukh Khan says he has TVs worth Rs 30-40 lakh in Mannat, fan reacts,...
After Express report, IAS officer Sanjeev Khirwar transferred to Ladakh, ...
Malaika Arora demonstrates three yoga asanas to reduce belly fat; watch
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by