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NCERT drops texts on Gandhi, Hindu-Muslim unity, RSS ban from class 12 textbook

'The entire rationalisation exercise was done last year, there is nothing new which has happened this year,' NCERT director Dinesh Saklani said
Last Updated : 05 April 2023, 10:18 IST

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"Gandhiji's death had a magical effect on communal situation in the country", "Gandhi's pursuit of Hindu-Muslim unity provoked Hindu extremists" and "Organisations like RSS were banned for some time" are among the texts missing from the class 12 political science textbook for the new academic session.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), however, claims that no curriculum trimming has taken place this year and the syllabus was rationalised in June, last year.

As part of its "syllabus rationalisation" exercise last year, the NCERT, citing "overlapping" and "irrelevant" as reasons, dropped certain portions from the course including lessons on Gujarat riots, Mughal courts, Emergency, Cold War, Naxalite movement, among others from its textbooks.

The rationalisation note had no mention of excerpts about Mahatma Gandhi.

"The entire rationalisation exercise was done last year, there is nothing new which has happened this year," NCERT Director Dinesh Saklani said.

He, however, did not comment on the missing excerpts which went unannounced at the time of rationalisation.

A note by NCERT on its website reads, "in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was felt imperative to reduce content load on students. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 also emphasises reducing the content load and providing opportunities for experiential learning with creative mindset. In this background, the NCERT had undertaken the exercise to rationalise the textbooks across all classes and all subjects".

"The present edition is a reformatted version after carrying out the changes. The present textbooks are rationalised textbooks. These were rationalised for the session 2022-23 and will continue in 2023-24," it adds.

Among the reasons cited behind the choice of dropped subjects during rationalisation are – content based on genres of literature in the textbooks and supplementary readers at different stages of school education; for reducing the curriculum load and exam stress in view of the prevailing condition of the pandemic; content.

Subjects easily accessible to students without much interventions from teachers and can be learned by children through self-learning or peer learning and content which is "irrelevant" in the present context were also dropped from the curriculum.

An official from the education ministry, who did not wish to be identified, said the new curriculum framework as per the NEP is still being worked out and the new textbooks as per the updated curriculum will only be introduced from the 2024 academic session.

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Published 05 April 2023, 09:47 IST

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