The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and Digital India campaigns as well as demonetisation — all associated with the current BJP-led government — are set to be included in NCERT textbooks for the next academic session.
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), an autonomous organisation that advises the Union government on school education, is in the final lap of identifying changes to its 182 textbooks on different subjects. The NCERT is learnt to have agreed to 221 suggestions received from schoolteachers on its portal and another 1,113 received from other sources. Of these, the larger number of changes have been made to science (573), social science (316) and Sanskrit (136) textbooks for Classes VI-XII.
According to sources, the NCERT’s mathematics textbook for primary classes will be updated with images of new currency notes introduced by the BJP-led government after demonetisation that was imposed on November 8 last year. Demonetisation, the move towards a cashless economy and the Goods and Service Tax will be included in the Class X economics textbook, titled Understanding Economic Development.
In the wake of the government’s thrust on road safety, more material will be introduced in the Class VIII social science textbook titled Social and Political Life-III, in addition to existing references. That apart, the Digital India campaign, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, all launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have been included in different textbooks, said NCERT sources.
The NCERT has agreed to drop the Sanskrit play Bhagvadajjukam from its Class VIII Sanskrit textbook Ruchira as a section of teachers complained they were uncomfortable explaining to the students the role of a prostitute mentioned in the text. Bhagvadajjukam, believed to have been written by Bodhayana, tells the story of a priest and his student who thinks only of worldly pleasures.
That apart, a chapter on constitutional rights in the Class XII political science textbook — Indian Constitution at Work — will be updated with the Right to Information and Right to Education Acts that were introduced during UPA rule. Class VI social science textbooks will be updated with the new political map of India to reflect the state of Telangana created in 2014. The timeline of European integration in the Class XII political science textbook will extended up to 2016 to mention Brexit.
The NCERT will finalise all changes and place orders for revised textbooks next month, said the sources. This is the first comprehensive review of NCERT textbooks after the National Curriculum Framework was drafted in 2005. A curriculum revision is also overdue but will only happen once the new education policy is unveiled by the Union government.
The last major change was made to political science textbooks in 2012 when the NCERT dropped six cartoons from four books meant for Classes IX, X, XI and XII, following protests in Parliament.