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Rediff.com  » News » NCERT panel for replacing 'India' with 'Bharat' in textbooks

NCERT panel for replacing 'India' with 'Bharat' in textbooks

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: October 25, 2023 19:13 IST
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The committee has also recommended highlighting 'Hindu victories' in various battles in the textbooks.

IMAGE: A girl reads a book at a roadside book stall in Nagpur. Image used only for representation. Photograph: ANI Photo

"India" should be replaced with "Bharat" in the school textbooks for all classes, a high-level committee for social sciences, constituted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to revise the school curriculum, has recommended.

According to committee chairperson C I Isaac, the panel has suggested replacing the name "India" with "Bharat" in the textbooks, introducing "classical history", instead of "ancient history", in the curriculum and including the Indian Knowledge System (IKS) in the syllabus for all subjects.

NCERT Chairman Dinesh Saklani, however, said no decision has been taken yet on the panel's recommendations.

The council later said on X: "NCERT states that since the development of new syllabus and textbooks is in the process and for that purpose various Curricular Area Groups of domain experts are being notified by the NCERT. So, it is too premature to comment."

"The committee has unanimously recommended that the name 'Bharat' should be used in the textbooks for students across classes. We have also recommended introducing classical history instead of ancient history in the textbooks," Isaac told PTI.

"Bharat is an age-old name. The name Bharat has been used in ancient texts, such as Vishnu Purana, which is 7,000 years old," the Padma Shree awardee said.

 

The name "Bharat" first appeared officially when the government sent out G20 invites in the name of "President of Bharat", instead of "President of India".

Later, the nameplate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the summit in New Delhi also read "Bharat", instead of India.

Isaac said the committee has also recommended highlighting "Hindu victories" in various battles in the textbooks.

"Our failures are presently mentioned in the textbooks. But our victories over the Mughals and sultans are not," said Isaac, who is also a member of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).

"The British had divided Indian history into three phases -- ancient, medieval and modern -- showing India in darkness, unaware of scientific knowledge and progress. Therefore, we have suggested that the classical period of Indian history be taught in schools, along with the medieval and modern periods," he added.

The NCERT is revising the curriculum of the school textbooks in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The council recently constituted a 19-member National Syllabus and Teaching Learning Material Committee (NSTC) to finalise the curriculum, textbooks and learning material for these classes.

"The committee has also recommended the introduction of the Indian Knowledge System in the curriculum of all subjects," Isaac said.

Isaac has been closely associated with Sangh Parivar organisations for decades and has also served as the vice-president of right-wing think-tank Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram. He worked as a professor of history at the CMS College in Kerala's Kottayam and was later appointed as a member of the ICHR.

Other members of the committee include ICHR Chairperson Raghuvendra Tanwar, Vandana Mishra, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Vasant Shinde, former vice-chancellor of the Deccan College Deemed University, and Mamta Yadav, who teaches sociology in a Haryana government school.

The panel chaired by Isaac is among the 25 committees formed by the NCERT in December 2021 to prepare position papers on various subjects and themes. Likewise, the states have also constituted 25 groups each on the same subjects and themes to send inputs to the NCERT as part of the new curriculum and textbook development exercise.

The recommendation of the panel invited criticism from the opposition parties.

"It shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi's fear of the INDIA opposition bloc. His alliance partners are leaving him. Instead of changing names, efforts should be made to focus on issues of unemployment, inflation and corruption," Aam Aadmi Party leader Priyanka Kakkar said.

DMK spokesperson Saravanan Annadurai said, "The BJP is restoring to name-changing politics to divert the attention of people from its misdeeds and maladministration."

Congress general secretary K C Venugopal said, "They are suggesting so many things. You can see how they are distorting the history of India through textbooks, syllabi and everything.... For us, India and Bharat are equal."

Congress leader Jignesh Mevani said the move amounted to showing disrespect to the Constitution, in which "India, that is, Bharat" is written.

"Both words can be used interchangeably," he said.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Manoj Jha alleged that it was a hysterical reaction of the BJP regime since the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) has been formed.

"Will they change the name of the country to Jambudweep or something else if the INDIA bloc changes its name to BHARAT?" he asked.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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