NEW DELHI – Around 250 educationists and historians criticised National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) over its decision to revise textbooks. They said that removing the chapters was driven by a divisive and partisan agenda.
The historians demanded NCERT to withdraw the decision. Significantly, some sections related to Mughals were removed from the Class 12th History textbooks, and paragraphs that contained information about the ban briefly imposed on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) by the then government after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi were omitted.
Romila Thapar, Jayati Ghosh, Mridula Mukherjee, Apoorvanand, Irfan Habib and Upinder Singh, among others have started a signature campaign to protest against the decision and for its withdrawal.
On the other hand, the Democratic Teachers Front, an organisation of university-level teachers, said that if ‘WhatsApp University’ is given a free hand to devour Indian schools, colleges and universities, then Indian democracy will be seriously affected.
NCERT said that the change made in school books has not been done with the aim of making anyone happy or angry.
NCERT Chief Dinesh Prasad Saklani told IANS that the changes have been made purely on the basis of expert advice. He said that new books for all classes on the basis of National Education Policy (NEP) will also be introduced and its work has been completed at the foundation level.
Saklani said that changes were not only made in History books, but also in books of other subjects to reduce the burden faced by students. He stated that the changes are not based on any particular person, event, period or institution.
Saklani added that this is not a big change and all of them were made last year, keeping the Covid-19 pandemic in view and the academic loss faced by students worldwide, at all levels.
In such a situation, NCERT decided to revise the course on the basis of experts’ opinions to reduce the burden on students who would return to school after a long time, Saklani concluded. -IANS