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Former Chief Advisors Demand Removal Of Names From NCERT Textbooks Over "Mutilation" Of Content

They criticized the arbitrary cuts and deletions, asserting that the changes lack pedagogic rationale and undermine the pursuit of a comprehensive understanding of political science.

Yogendra Yadav
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In a surprising development, Suhas Palshikar and Yogendra Yadav, who served as chief advisors for the original Political Science textbooks for classes 9 to 12, have expressed their profound disappointment with the "arbitrary" and "irrational" cuts made in the NCERT textbooks. They have written a letter to the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), urging them to remove their names as chief advisors from all Political Science textbooks.

The esteemed duo contends that the recent rationalization exercise has left the books "mutilated" and "academically dysfunctional." In their letter addressed to NCERT Director Dinesh Saklani, they lamented the lack of any pedagogic rationale behind the modifications. Palshikar and Yadav expressed their disagreement with the cuts and deletions, emphasizing that they were never consulted or informed about these changes.

Palshikar, an acclaimed academician and political scientist, along with Yadav, a political scientist and leader of Swaraj India, were instrumental in shaping the Political Science books originally published in 2006-07, based on the 2005 version of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF). Their names were prominently featured in a "letter to students" and the list of the textbook development team in each book.

The letter emphasizes the importance of maintaining the internal logic of the text, criticizing the arbitrary nature of the cuts and deletions. Palshikar and Yadav argue that such deletions appear to serve the interests of certain individuals or groups, rather than promoting a well-rounded understanding of politics and encouraging critical thinking among students.

The controversy surrounding the NCERT textbooks erupted when several topics and portions were dropped without proper notification. Opposition parties accused the government of attempting to "whitewash" history. Of particular concern were the omissions related to Mahatma Gandhi's role in Hindu-Muslim unity and the ban on the RSS.

While the NCERT initially defended the deletions, stating they were based on expert recommendations and that minor changes need not be notified, they later clarified that the textbooks would undergo revision in 2024 with the implementation of the National Curriculum Framework.

Palshikar and Yadav conclude their letter by expressing their embarrassment at being associated with the "mutilated and academically dysfunctional" textbooks. They firmly request the NCERT to remove their names from all editions and online copies of the textbooks without delay.

(With PTI Inputs)

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