‘Embarrassed’ by NCERT book rationalisation, former advisors want their names removed

NCERT Textbook: Suhas Palshikar and Yogendra Yadav were advisors for the Classes 11 and 12 political science textbooks.

‘Embarrassed’ by NCERT book rationalisation, former advisors want their names removed Palishkar and Yadav were chief advisors for Class 11 and 12 political science textbooks ‘Democratic Politics' published in 2006-2007 (Photo: PTI)
R. Radhika | Jun 9, 2023 - 3:06 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Embarrassed by the “mutilated and dysfunctional” rationalisation of National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks, political scientists Suhas Palshikar and Yogendra Yadav urged NCERT director to remove their names as chief advisors for the political science textbooks for Classes 11 and 12.

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In their letter addressed to Dinesh Prasad Saklani on Thursday, Palshikar and Yadav wrote that the rationalisation process has made “innumerable and irrational cuts and large deletions” that are not compensated for in other textbooks.

Calling the rationalisation process “blatantly partisan”, Palishkar and Yadav said that they "failed to see the pedagogical rationale" behind the deletions. “We were never consulted or even informed of these changes. If NCERT did consult other experts for deciding these cuts and deletions, we explicitly state that we disagree with them in this regard,” the letter said.

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Palshikar taught at Savitribai Phule Pune University and Yadav was associated with the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). Yadav is also an activist, psephologist and a politician.

NCERT textbook rationalisation

The letter has come in response to the key deletion in the NCERT textbooks including chapters on Darwin’s theory of evolution, section on Maulana Azad, Gandhi, periodic tables and other such topics. In June 2022, NCERT undertook the process of rationalising textbooks to reduce the content load of students in Classes 6 to 12. The new textbooks are being circulated in the current academic year.

“As academics organically associated with the preparation of these textbooks, we are embarrassed that our names should be mentioned as chief advisors to these mutilated and academically dysfunctional textbooks,” the academics wrote.

Palishkar and Yadav were chief advisors for Class 11 and 12 political science textbooks ‘Democratic Politics – Part 1 and 2’ published in 2006-2007 based on the 2005 version of the National Curriculum Framework. They have asked for their names to be removed from the ‘letters to students’ and the list of textbook development teams in textbooks of Class 9, 10, 11 and 12.

“We request you to give effect to this request immediately and ensure that our names are not used in the soft copies of the textbooks available at the NCERT websites and also in the subsequent print editions,” the letter said in the end.

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