‘Bharat’, not ‘India’ in school textbooks, recommends NCERT panel ‘unanimously’


A focus group set up for revising the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks for social science has recommended that ‘Bharat’ should be used instead of India in the textbooks from Class 5 to Class 12. “The committee has unanimously recommended that the name ‘Bharat’ should be used in textbooks for students across classes,” PTI has quoted CI Issac saying.He is the chairperson of the committee. The recommendation had already been submitted to the NCERT through their final position paper four months ago, noted Issac, a historian, Padma Shri awardee and RSS ideologue. According to him, the committee has also recommended that the classification of Indian history should be changed. Currently, it is divided into ancient, medieval and modern. “We should replace the term ancient with classical. That is something our paper recommends,” Issac further added.
Issac is of the opinion that the term ancient denotes ‘without significance’. “The British divided India into ancient, medieval and modern. What does ancient mean? It means really old, without any significance, is that what Indian history is? Without significance? We had people like Aryabhatta, we used solar calendars from the beginning, the Middle East only the lunar calendar in which each moon rise is considered as a new year. We recommended that it should be renamed to the classical period of Indian history,” he has been quoted saying.
He is also in favour of highlighting ‘Hindu’ war victories in the textbooks. “The history textbooks are focussing on our failures not on our victories. This makes the students feel mentally backward. Indian victories are not mentioned. The textbooks speak about Alexander but do speak about why he discontinued his journey towards the east after the battle with Porus,” Issac has been quoted saying.
Issac also mentioned that the committee has recommended the inclusion of Indian Knowledge Systems in the syllabus of all subjects. He observed that the textbooks do not focus on people like Sangamagrama Madhavan, the ‘Father of Calculus’ and the Indian achievements in Ayurveda such as surgery. The panel has advised the inclusion of these topics in the upcoming textbooks.
The NCERT appointed several focus groups in December 2021 for revising the textbooks. The revision of school textbook curricula is in line with the recommendations of NEP 2020.


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October 26, 2023

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