In the budget session of Parliament this year, there was an interesting debate on India’s knowledge tradition. BJP Rajya Sabha MP Rakesh Sinha moved a private member resolution on the subject. I participated and narrated the story of two books which every history lover must read. These books, Knowledge Tradition and Practices of India (KTPI), one each for classes XI and XII, were introduced in 2013 as an optional subject in the CBSE curriculum.
One day, when I was the Education Minister, a file from CBSE arrived, proposing that it should be discontinued as an optional subject, as there was little response, with very few students opting for it. I immediately read these books and found them very useful, as they instilled pride about the country among students. I realised that the size of these books—400 pages each—was intimidating students from opting for the subject. Several NCERT experts worked hard on them, rewrote and trimmed them to 150-200 pages each, without compromising on the content.