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Published On: Wed, Jul 8th, 2020

Saffron BJP Govt.Drops Chapters on Democratic Rights, Secularism &food security from Class 10 Syllabus

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CBSE 2NEW DELHI : The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to scrap chapters on ‘democracy and diversity’ Democratic Rights, Food Security in India, Citizenship and Secularism are the subjects which were dropped by the CBSE from political science course for class 9th to 12th for the 2019-2020 session.
Apart from political science, the board has also revised the Economics and History courses as well. The three chapters cut from the syllabus – ‘Democracy and Diversity’, ‘Popular Struggle and Movements’ and ‘Challenges to Democracy’ will be “assessed in the periodic tests, but will not be evaluated in the board examination,” CBSE said in a statement.

This move, as per the Board, has been taken as a part of the ‘curriculum rationalisation exercise’ that has been undertaken by the Human Resource Development Ministry and will help “reduce the burden and pressure of the curriculum on the students”.
Meanwhile, several academics and teachers are of the opinion that the decision is not right and is an overstep by the CBSE. Prof. Satvinderpal Kaur of the department of education, Panjab University, was quoted as saying by HT: “Chapters such as ‘popular struggle’ and ‘movements and challenges to democracy’ have their own importance in making of the child understand past struggles.
The child’s knowledge of these topics must be holistically evaluated. What is being done is not healthy and will have a harmful long-term effect.” While, Krishna Kumar, former NCERT chairman, feels that the CBSE is taking away the flexibility from the textbooks. “The NCERT should be the body that should decide the curriculum. However, CBSE is calling the shots,” he said, as per the report.
The NCERT’s track-record, however, is not clean either. It has, recently and in the past, also removed crucial chapters on democracy, caste struggles and colonialism.
Responding to various reports on the three chapters being cut from the syllabus, CBSE reiterated in a statement that, “no chapters have been deleted from the syllabus of Social Science Class 10 by the Board. All the chapters will be studied by the Class 10 students in due course of time and also evaluated.”

“The mentioned chapters namely, Democracy and Diversity, Popular Struggle and Movements and Challenges to Democracy can best be understood through project work and experiential learning and similarly best assessed through different modes in addition to pen paper tests,” the board added.
However, it remains to be seen how these chapters – cut to help ‘relieve’ the overburdened students – are emphasized on enough, given that they will not be a part of the Board exams.

The government-run National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), walking in line behind the CBSE, has decided to drop a full chapter ‘Democracy in the Contemporary World’ from the political science textbook for Class 9.
According to a report in The Wire, the new textbook fails to mention why the chapter has been removed. To make things worse, the report adds, the decision was taken by a committee within NCERT that had no expert.
Historian Hari Vasudevan, who headed the advisory committee for NCERT textbooks in 2005, was quoted by the news portal as saying: “The arbitrariness and willfulness do not send a right message, Moreover, it is about removing the chapter on democracy.”
NCERT director Hrushikesh Senapathy, meanwhile, said that the decision to drop the chapter had been a democratic one.

He told The Wire: “Changes have been made in a democratic way. We had asked for public opinion and received one lakh suggestions from 27,000 people. A curriculum committee within the NCERT then analysed it and carried out the changes.”
What has been removed from courses for class 9th to 12th : From class 9th syllabus, chapters on ‘Democratic Rights’ and ‘Structure of the Indian Constitution’ have been removed by the CBSE from Political Science course, while a chapter on ‘Food Security in India’ has been completely removed from Economics syllabus.
From class 10th, the chapters on ‘Democracy and Diversity’, ‘Caste, Religion and Gender’, and ‘Challenges to Democracy’ have been removed from the political science syllabus.

From class 11th, chapters on Federalism, Citizenship, Nationalism and Secularism were ‘completely removed’ from the Political Science syllabus, while only two units ‘Why do we need Local Governments?’ and ‘Growth of Local Government in India’ from ‘Local Government’ chapter has been deleted.

From class 12th Political Science syllabus, chapters on ‘Security in the Contemporary World’, ‘Environment and Natural Resources’, ‘Social and New Social Movements in India’, and ‘Regional Aspirations’ were completely removed.
Units of ‘Changing Nature of India’s Economic Development’, ‘Planning Commission and Five Year Plans’ from the chapter ‘Planned Development’ was removed from class 12th syllabus.

‘India’s Relations with its Neighbours: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar’ was also deleted for the present session from the chapter on ‘India’s Foreign Policy’.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced on Tuesday that the syllabus for 2020-21 would be reduced by a third because of the “extraordinary situation” as the world fights the coronavirus pandemic.
“Looking at the extraordinary situation prevailing in the country and the world, CBSE was advised to revise the curriculum and reduce course load for the students of Class 9th to 12th,” Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said.

“Considering the importance of learning achievement, it has been decided to rationalize syllabus up to 30% by retaining the core concepts,” Pokhriyal said in a series of tweets.
While, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said she is “shocked” by the centre’s decision to drop subjects like democratic rights, federalism and secularism from the Economics and Political Science syllabuses of Classes 9 to 12 in all CBSE-affiliated schools.
Said she “strongly object(ed)” to the move, which was announced yesterday by the education ministry on account of the “extraordinary situation in India” a reference to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Shocked to know that the central government has dropped topics like citizenship, federalism, secularism and partition in the name of reducing CBSE course during the COVID-19 crisis,” Mamata Banerjee tweeted Wednesday.
“We strongly object to this and appeal to the HRD Ministry, Government of India, to ensure these vital lessons aren’t curtailed at any cost,” the Chief Minister said.
(With Agency Inputs).



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