Errors galore in NCERT Class X textbook

Last Updated 29 June 2014, 21:14 IST

The latest edition of the government’s social science textbook for Class X contains several mistakes that have confused teachers and students in the new academic year. 

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), while admitting to the error, says it will be rectified in the reprint edition.

Published by the NCERT, the book has mistakes in the first chapter on development. They relate to Table 1.3, in which the per-capita income of three states—Punjab, Kerala and Bihar—in 2012 is listed. The data is sourced from the Economic Survey, 2013.

The table and accompanying text is meant to explain the concept of “per capita income” and its significance in understanding development.

While the table clearly shows Kerala has higher per-capita income than Punjab, the text says, “Punjab will be considered the most developed, if per capita income were to be used as the measure of development.” In another place, the text says, “The per capita income of Punjab is more than Kerala as shown in Table 1.3”. 

“This error might have occurred inadvertently. The correction will be carried in the reprint,” an NCERT spokesperson told Deccan Herald.

Students got the book—titled “Understanding Economic Development: Social Science textbook for Class X”—in April, 2014 at the beginning of the new academic session.

The mismatch between the table and text led to wrong data interpretation, explained a teacher from a Delhi school under the Central Board of Secondary Education.

While the overall objective of the chapter is to explain that per capita income is not the only criterion to measure development, the text becomes inaccurate due to contradictory data.

The disparity arose because the table was changed in the latest edition (published in November 2013), but the previous edition’s text was not modified. Earlier, data and text were in agreement whereas this time data was changed without suitably correcting the text.

Earlier, the NCERT had used imaginary data to avoid children memorising figures, which is fundamentally against the constructivist approach of education. But due to policy decisions in 2013, the NCERT began using real data with sources. Subsequently it was decided to quote the latest data and the source.

(Published 29 June 2014, 21:14 IST)

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