Days after a media report pointed out that Aksai Chin is shown as part of China in a Class XII political science textbook of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the Council has clarified that the map was not of India, but of East and Southeast Asia. It also said the map on page 56 of the textbook will be replaced with a map of Southeast Asia in the reprint edition.
According to a media report, the map shows Aksai Chin marked in the same yellow as China and demarcates the area as ‘Indian claim’. The report further said the textbook, Contemporary World Politics, was first printed in 2007 and subsequently reprinted. The map, which was prepared by the University of Texas, has been used to explain the Southeast Asian region as an alternative power centre.
Responding to the news report, NCERT said, “Chapter 4, Alternative Centres of Power, focuses on the European Union, ASEAN and China. The map which figures on page 56 is not a map of India, but a map of East and Southeast Asia. It was prepared by the University of Texas. The source of the map was mentioned at the bottom. The map states that ‘Boundary representation is not necessarily authoritative’.”
Acknowledging that Aksai Chin has been under the unlawful occupation of China, the NCERT said, “the border between India and China near the region is marked in dotted lines to indicate the dispute.” It further said the region is shown as an integral part of the country in the map of India and its neighbours on page 149. Aksai Chin area was illegally occupied by China during the 1962 war.