ADDING to the embarrassment of the Maharashtra government over a number of mistakes in its recently revised state board textbooks,it has now come to light that Indias political map in the class 10 history textbook has missed the Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar islands altogether. No markings have been made on the blue stretch,which comprises the Arabian Sea,Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal,to indicate the group of islands that form the two Union territories.
This error was noticed after the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education issued a statement on May 16,admitting to factual and grammatical errors in the class 10 history and civics textbook and to the use of an erroneous map in its geography textbook. The geography textbook has omitted a substantial part of Arunachal Pradesh from the map of India and has shown it as a part of China.
While the two Union territories have been shown on the map in the Marathi textbook,they have gone missing in its English counterpart.
Vidyadhar Amrute,geography professor at Sathe College,who brought the glaring errors to the fore,said that the Board does not seem to have taken the permission from the Survey of India,the national survey and mapping organisation of the country,before publishing the map. Such a mistake could not have gone unseen if this permission was obtained. It is shocking that the political map of India does not show its two Union territories, said Amrute,who was member of the Board for 10 years.
Having spotted the Arunachal Pradesh error in the geography textbook,Amrtue started going through maps in textbooks of other subjects. Even in the Marathi textbook,they have only written the names of the island on the map. They have not shown the drawing to denote the actual landmass of the island. Moreover,the names of the water bodies have not been shown,while the landmass of Sri Lanka is also absent. The map key is also missing in the English textbook, said Amrute.
With an intention to bring Maharashtra board textbooks on par with Central boards,a committee of academicians and teachers was constituted to revise the syllabus. They had one year to revise the textbooks and proof-read them. After the various errors came to the fore,the Board instructed the nine depots of Balbharati to immediately stop sale of geography where the error in one map need to be rectified. The mistake will be corrected in the unsold textbooks,which includes about 1.2 lakh in English and around 8.71 lakh in Marathi.
Sarjerao Jadhav,chairman of MSBSHSE,said the required permissions have been taken from the Survey of India. I have not seen the map myself. Generally,maps in history textbooks are not as elaborate as maps in geography textbooks. If the mistake is there,it will be rectified, said Jadhav.