National Affairs

250 Historians Expressed Concern On Deletions In NCERT Textbooks

250 historians have expressed concern over the deletion of several chapters from the NCERT textbook. 

Historians have said that removing the chapters from school textbooks is a divisive and partisan move. 

Historians have demanded the withdrawal of this decision. 

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has recently removed certain passages in history books. 

In particular, some sections related to the Mughals have been removed from the Class 12 textbook and colonialism from the Class 11 book. 

Apart from this, some facts related to Gandhi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have also been removed from the books. 

The lockdown coupled with the pandemic has been used as a ruse to remove material on the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat, the Emergency, a history of the Mughal courts, historians said in a statement on Friday.

The letter writers include academicians and historians like Romila Thapar, Jayanti Ghosh, Mridula Mukherjee, Apoorvanand, Irfan Habib, former DU professor Anita Rampal, writers Badri Raina and Upinder Singh. 

These people claim that the removal of selected subjects from the textbooks is in the backdrop of the current central government’s “larger ideological agenda to misunderstand the history of the people”. 

Historians criticized this move saying that this decision is against the constitution and culture of the Indian subcontinent. It should be cancelled. 

At the same time, the Democratic Teachers Front, an organization of university level teachers, says that if WhatsApp University is given a free hand to devour Indian schools, colleges and universities in the same way, then Indian democracy will be seriously affected.

Historians say no effort has been made to consult members of the teams preparing the textbooks, apart from members of the NCERT, which include historians and school teachers.

 It is being said that the things included in the earlier books were developed through a process of consultation and extensive discussions. 

It was valuable not only in terms of content, but also in terms of pedagogy, which ensured an organic unity and a gradual development of understanding from middle to senior school. An attempt was also made to make the textbooks as inclusive as possible and to provide a sense of the rich diversity of the human past, both within the subcontinent and the wider world. Thus, deletion of chapters/sections of chapters depriving the learners of valuable material,

At the same time, NCERT says 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 said that these changes have been made purely on the basis of expert advice. 

He says that now NCERT is also going to bring new books for all classes on the basis of National Education Policy. The work of making new books at the foundation level has also been completed. 

According to the NCERT chief, this change has not been made only in the history book, but some material has been reduced in each subject, so that the burden of the students can be reduced during the examination. Also, students have to answer fewer questions. 

Along with this, he also said that the changes made in the books are not based on any particular person, event, period or institution, but it includes Mahatma Gandhi, Nirala and Mughals.

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