NCERT directed to explain reasons for disregarding history of national heroes in student text books

Central Information Commission (CIC): While reprimanding National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for reducing contents on Swami Vivekananda in Class XII history books “from 1250 to 37 words” and completely removing the subject from Class VIII books, CIC directed NCERT to disclose the reasons for disregarding national leaders in its student text books. This order of National Commission came upon an appeal filed by the Convener of Sri Aurobindo Society, Rajasthan, who in his appeal criticized non-inclusion of history of national personalities and revolutionaries in the NCERT text books. The appellant alleged that prior to Year 2007; NCERT contained 500 words about Nethaji Subhash Chandra Bose in Class VIII and 1250 words in Class XII text books. Now in Class XII only 87 words are given and in Class VIII the history of Nethaji Subhash Chandra Bose is totally missing. He also pleaded that the new generations need to know the great sacrifice of the celebrities of the nation in the yesteryears, who fought for the liberation from English Rule and it was not appropriate to give 37 pages to cricket and history of cloth, but nothing on the lives of national freedom fighters. Through a series of RTI applications appellant claimed that content on 36 national leaders and revolutionaries like Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ashfaqullah Khan, Batukeshwar Dutt, Ram Prasad Bismil among others was completely missing from history text books of NCERT, and sought response in the matter from NCERT. Not getting satisfactory reply, he approached CIC. In its defense before CIC, NCERT contended that “it could not interfere with the independent committee, which decides the content of lessons and textbooks”. NCERT further submitted that all the suggestions made by the appellant will be placed before the Syllabus Revision Committee. After hearing both the parties and perusal of material on record, CIC observed that the plea of appellant, deserves consideration and a comprehensive response from the appropriate committee as it is the duty of the public authority under Section 4(1) of RTI Act to publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect the public, and to provide reasons for its administrative or quasi judicial decisions to affected persons. While directing NCERT to disclose reasons for reduction and absence of history of national heroes in the text books, CIC also asked NCERT to furnish information on what are the efforts taken by the NCERT to make the lessons about the history and national heroes strictly objective without any bias or orientation. [Suryapratap Singh Rajawat v. National Council of Educational Research and Training,2016 SCC OnLine CIC 522, decided on January 22, 2016]

To read the Order, click HERE

7 comments

  • While directing NCERT to disclose reasons for reduction and absence of history of national heroes in the text books, CIC also asked NCERT to furnish information on what are the efforts taken by the NCERT to make the lessons about the history and national heroes strictly objective without any bias or orientation.

  • Not getting satisfactory reply, he approached CIC. In its defense before CIC, NCERT contended that “it could not interfere with the independent committee, which decides the content of lessons and textbooks”.

  • While directing NCERT to disclose reasons for reduction and absence of history of national heroes in the text books, CIC also asked NCERT to furnish information on what are the efforts taken by the NCERT to make the lessons about the history and national heroes strictly objective without any bias or orientation.

  • NCERT further submitted that all the suggestions made by the appellant will be placed before the Syllabus Revision Committee. After hearing both the parties and perusal of material on record, CIC observed that the plea of appellant,

  • This order of National Commission came upon an appeal filed by the Convener of Sri Aurobindo Society, Rajasthan, who in his appeal criticized non-inclusion of history of national personalities and revolutionaries in the NCERT text books.

  • While reprimanding National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for reducing contents on Swami Vivekananda in Class XII history books “from 1250 to 37 words” and completely removing the subject from Class VIII books, CIC directed NCERT to disclose the reasons for disregarding national leaders in its student text books.

  • In its defense before CIC, NCERT contended that “it could not interfere with the independent committee, which decides the content of lessons and textbooks”.
    Pretty nice post.

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