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'Dubious quality textbooks': NCERT must not act like ‘Nagpur or Narendra CERT’, Jairam Ramesh says

Ramesh's comments came as the revised NCERT Political Science textbook for Grade XII mentions the Babri Masjid only as a "three-domed structure," besides shortening the section on the dispute from four pages to two. It also omits any reference to the demolition of the mosque in 1992 and references to subsequent riots.
Last Updated : 17 June 2024, 08:01 IST

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New Delhi: Amid a row over the revision of textbooks, Congress General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh on Monday said that the NCERT should know that it is not "Nagpur or Narendra Council for Educational Research and Training," asserting that its objective is to "produce textbooks, not political pamphlets and propaganda".

Referring to the NEET 2024 controversy, Ramesh posted on X that the National Testing Agency has blamed the NCERT for the 'grace marks' fiasco, which is only drawing attention away from the NTA's abject failures.

"However it is true that the NCERT is no longer a professional institution. It has been functioning as an RSS affiliate since 2014. It has just been revealed that its revised Class XI political science textbook criticises the idea of secularism as well as what it considers policies of political parties in this regard. NCERT's objective is to produce textbooks, not political pamphlets and propaganda," he said.

Ramesh alleged that the NCERT is mounting an assault on the country's Constitution, where secularism features explicitly as a foundational pillar of the Indian Republic in the Preamble. Various Supreme Court judgments have clearly held secularism to be an essential part of the basic structure of the Constitution, he said.

"NCERT needs to remind itself that it is the National Council for Educational Research and Training, not the Nagpur or Narendra Council for Educational Research and Training. All of its textbooks are now of dubious quality vastly different from those that shaped me in school," he added.

NCERT Director Dinesh Prasad Saklani told PTI that the tweaks in textbooks are part of the annual revision and should not be a subject of hue and cry.

Ramesh's comments came as the revised NCERT Political Science textbook for Grade XII mentions the Babri Masjid only as a "three-domed structure," besides shortening the section on the dispute from four pages to two. It also omits any reference to the demolition of the mosque in 1992 and references to subsequent riots.

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Published 17 June 2024, 08:01 IST

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