You can download the school textbooks for CBSE and Tamil Nadu State board (தமிழக அரசின் பாடத்திட்டப் புத்தகங்கள்) for free from the below links to their respective sites.
The Original Post from 2010 Below:
Tamil Nadu Government runs “Tamil Nadu Text Book Corporation” under its School Education Department for publishing Text books (பாடப் புத்தகங்கள்) under heavily subsidized prices. The text books are written by experienced teachers and are the official curriculum for school students in the state studying under the State Board Education system. Their Tamil Text Books are also used as curriculum for other board students (like CBSE) as well.
This year I had to buy Tamil Text Book for STD II for my son studying in P.S.B.B.S.S.School and after asking in few book shops got it in a shop[ in T.Nagar. With this background, when I happened to meet our fellow INFITT member Mr.Iniya Nehru, Director in NIC (NIC handles many of the IT Services and Websites for Govt. of India & Govt. of Tamil Nadu) I was mentioning to him that Text Books published by Government can be made available online as a E-Books (say PDF files) for convenience. It will serve as a valuable reference for those living outside Tamil Nadu and studying Tamil. Mr.Nehru replied it is already there, I assumed it will be a shopping cart facility for ordering online or as PDF for electronic purchase. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Text Book Corporation has made all its text books available for free as Adobe Acrobat files (PDF) at its website. Thank you, Mr.Nehru for this information, I hope this post in my blog will help students and teachers who are looking for the books.
Of course, I don’t see in short term the e-books replacing the printed version as they are extremely low priced due to government subsidy. For example, STD II Tamil text book of more than hundred pages costs just Rs.15.
In May 2012 at my firm we released a free/no-ad App for iPad to read the textbooks easily with one click with the contents downloaded offline. In September 2013 we released the same App for Android. A few months later on oral instructions from School Education Department (Government of Tamil Nadu) we had to discontinue/remove the apps. Though the textbooks are free, we were told that the Government owns the Copyright and has the exclusive rights for distribution in all forms.
I am looking forward to the day when the textbooks will be licensed under Creative Commons. Thanks for all your support extended to this app.