The government began the process of revising NCERT textbooks, which are used in CBSE-affiliated schools throughout the nation, on Tuesday by forming a committee to write a document that would lay out the general principles for curricular revisions.
Former ISRO chairman K Kasturirangan, who also led the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 drafting committee, will lead the 12-member National Steering Committee. The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) was last updated in 2005 under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), and it had previously been updated in 1975, 1988, and 2000.
Govind Prasad Sharma, head of the RSS’s education branch Vidya Bharati, which operates a network of schools throughout the nation, is also on the committee. Sharma is still on Vidya Bharti’s executive committee.
Manjul Bhargava, author of “The Lost River: On the Trail of Saraswati,” Michel Danino, Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia University Najma Akhtar, and Vice-Chancellor of the Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh T V Kattimani are among the members of the committee.
In addition to Kasturirangan, Bhargava and Kattimani were on the NEP drafting panel.
The committee’s establishment comes a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that by 2022 when the nation marks its 75th year of independence, school children would be studying a new curriculum based on the NEP.
Revisions to school curricula to rectify claimed historical errors and integrate aspects of “old Indian wisdom” have long been at the top of the RSS’s agenda, which serves as the party’s ideological fulcrum. Between 1998 and 2004, Murli Manohar Joshi, the Human Resource Development Minister of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee administration, was accused of “saffronization of education.”
Earlier this year, a Parliamentary committee headed by Rajya Sabha member Vinay Sahasrabuddhe took up the subject of textbook changes, requesting comments on books that included “unhistorical facts and falsehoods.”
Since taking office in 2014, the BJP administration has made changes to the curriculum, including the implementation of programmes and policies like the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Digital India, and the shift to a cashless economy.
The NEP also states that “Indian Knowledge Systems, including tribal knowledge and indigenous and traditional ways of learning, will be covered and included in mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, yoga, architecture, and medicine, wherever relevant,” and that “Indian Knowledge Systems, including tribal knowledge and indigenous and traditional ways of learning, will be covered and included in mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, yoga, architecture, and medicine,” among other things.
The NCF would be written “as per the views of the NEP,” which is also included in the education policy, according to a statement released by the Union Ministry of Education on Tuesday. According to the announcement outlining the group’s terms of reference, the committee will also create curricula for early childhood, teacher, and adult education.
The State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), which draught the State Curricula Frameworks, traditionally follow the NCF in updating their local school curriculum (SCF).
Importantly, the newly formed NCF has been instructed to solicit feedback from the SCFs, which must be created first, as opposed to the previous practise of the SCFs coming after the NCF.
“The Committee will finalise National Curriculum Frameworks after taking into account suggestions received from various stakeholders, including states and UTs, as well as at meetings of the NCERT’s Executive Committee (EC) and General Body (GB) and the Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE),” according to the statement. The group, which will serve for three years, would also “consider the consequences of events like as the Covid-19 pandemic” on relevant sectors in the future while drafting the NCF.
Chancellor of the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration Mahesh Chandra Pant, IIM Jammu chairperson Milind Kamble, Chancellor of the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda, Prof Jagbir Singh, social activist M K Sridhar, founder-director of the Language and Learning Foundation Dhir Jhingran, and co-founder and CEO of EkStep Foundation Shankar Maruw are among the other members of the committee.
Source: The Indian Express