NCERT Clarifies Association Withdrawal From Textbooks Amid Controversy With Political Scientists Yadav And Palshikar

The dispute arose after the scholars requested the removal of their names, claiming that recent revisions had severely distorted the books and rendered them academically dysfunctional.

The report has taken into account the National Achievement Survey (NAS) conducted by the NCERT

The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has issued an official clarification regarding the withdrawal of association of individuals from textbooks. According to the reports by NDTV, the clarification comes in response to political scientists Yogendra Yadav and Suhas Palshikar, who requested that their names be dropped from the textbooks due to a recent rationalization exercise.

According to the NCERT, textbooks at the school level are developed based on the prevailing knowledge and understanding of a given subject. The organization emphasizes that individual authorship is not claimed at any stage of the textbook development process, making the withdrawal of association by any individual "out of question."

In a statement released on Twitter, the NCERT stated, "Textbooks at the school level are 'developed' based on the state of our knowledge and understanding on a given subject. Therefore, at no stage individual authorship is claimed, hence the withdrawal of association by any one is out of question."

The NCERT further clarified that the terms of the textbook development committee had ended since the date of their first publication. However, the organization acknowledged the academic contribution of Yadav and Palshikar and explained that it publishes the names of all textbook development committee members for the sake of record in each of its textbooks.

Yadav and Palshikar, who were chief advisers for the original political science books for Classes 9 to 12, requested the NCERT to remove their names, claiming that the rationalization exercise had severely distorted the books and rendered them academically dysfunctional.

In a letter to NCERT Director Dinesh Saklani, Yadav and Palshikar expressed their disagreement with the changes made without their consultation or notification. They emphasized that the revised textbooks should not be shaped in a partisan manner and should encourage critical thinking and questioning among students of social sciences.

The controversy surrounding the rationalization exercise erupted when several topics and portions were dropped from NCERT textbooks last month. The opposition criticized the BJP-led Centre, accusing them of "whitewashing with vengeance." The NCERT faced criticism for not mentioning some controversial deletions, leading to allegations of surreptitious attempts to remove certain portions.

Initially, the NCERT defended the deletions, stating they were based on expert recommendations and that minor changes need not be notified. However, it later changed its stance and stated that the omissions may have been an oversight. The organization refused to undo the deletions, citing the upcoming revision of textbooks in 2024 with the implementation of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF).