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After Yogendra Yadav Asks It To Drop Name As Adviser, NCERT's Clarification

Yogendra Yadav is chief adviser for political science books for Classes 9-12, published in 2006-07.

New Delhi:

The withdrawal of association of a person from textbooks is “out of question” as the textbooks at the school level are “developed” based on the state of knowledge and understanding of a given subject, and at no stage, individual authorship is claimed, the National Council for Educational Research and Training, or NCERT, said in an official clarification after political scientists Yogendra Yadav and Suhas Palshikar asked it to drop their names over a rationalisation exercise in books.

“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,” NCERT said on Twitter.

“The terms of the textbook development committee have ended since the date of their first publication. However, the NCERT acknowledges their academic contribution and only because of this, for the sake of record, publishes the names of all textbook development committee members in each of its textbooks,” the statement issued by the NCERT said. 

The NCERT’s response came after Mr Yadav and Mr Palshikar, who were chief advisers for the original political science books for Classes 9 to 12, asked it to drop their names, claiming that the rationalisation exercise has “mutilated” the books beyond recognition and rendered them “academically dysfunctional”.

“We were never consulted or even informed of these changes. If the NCERT did consult other experts for deciding on these cuts and deletions, we explicitly state that we fully disagree with them in this regard,” read a letter sent by the two to NCERT Director Dinesh Saklani.

Mr Palshikar, an academician and political scientist, and Mr Yadav, a political scientist and Swaraj India leader, were chief advisers for the political science books for Classes 9 to 12, originally published in 2006-07 based on the 2005 version of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF).

Their names are mentioned in a “letter to students” and in the list of the textbook development team members at the beginning of each book.

The two political scientist said they were “embarrassed” and would like to “disassociate” from these textbooks.

“Textbooks cannot and should not be shaped in this blatantly partisan manner and should not quell the spirit of critique and questioning among students of social sciences. These textbooks as they stand now do not serve the purpose of training students of political science both the principles of politics and the broad patterns of political dynamics that have occurred over time,” the letter said.

The dropping of several topics and portions from NCERT textbooks last month triggered a controversy, with the Opposition blaming the BJP-led Centre for “whitewashing with vengeance”.

At the heart of the controversy was the fact that while the changes made as part of the rationalisation exercise were notified, some of the controversial deletions were not mentioned. This led to allegations about a bid to delete these portions surreptitiously, reported news agency PTI.

NCERT reportedly described the omissions as a possible oversight but refused to undo the deletions, saying they were based on the recommendations of experts. It had also said the textbooks were anyway headed for a revision in 2024, when the NCF kicks in.

However, it later changed its stand and said “minor changes need not be notified”.



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