At a time when the government is trying to enforce stricter rules to check plagiarism across India, Class X students in Jammu and Kashmir will study from a textbook — prescribed by the State Board of School Education — that’s in the eye of a storm for being plagiarised.
The book, ‘A Textbook on Economics & Disaster Management’, a module of Social Studies and divided into two parts —Economics and Disaster Management — has been published by the State Board of School Education and co-authored by 11 people, all from Jammu.
In the book, meant to introduce Class X students to Economics in “a simplified manner”, most parts of the Economics section have been lifted word-by-word from the J&K Economic Survey.
The section does not even offer definitions for basic terms like GDP. The book starts with a graphic and figures of “GSDP of J&K CAGR” picked up from a website.
The book is also a reflection of the politics that divides Kashmir and Jammu regions. The iconic Dal Lake is only a passing reference, and so are other tourist resorts of Kashmir. The book focuses on Jammu’s Mansar Lake and its religious importance.
In fact, the few paragraphs on the lake too have been lifted from Wikipedia.
While talking about the state’s monuments and heritage, the book only mentions Martand temple and Hari Parbat in Kashmir, Dogra Art Museum and Amar Mahal in Jammu and the gompas of Ladakh.
There is no reference to any shrines or mosques from Kashmir.
“This is criminal…You can’t start an introductory subject on Economics with technical terms like GDP and CAGR,” said Prof Javaid Khan, who teaches the subject at Kashmir University.
Secretary, State Board of School Education, Veena Pandita — who has written the foreword — said she had no idea about the book and would comment only after seeing it.
J&K’s Education Minister Nayeem Akhtar said he would look into the matter and take action accordingly.
“I agree there are serious issues with our curriculum. I have taken up measures in this regard,” Akhtar said. “We will look into this book and take necessary action,” he added.