NCERT’s curriculum for science needs to be ‘rationalized’ again
India's National Council of Educational Research and Training's decision to delete evolution from the Class X Science textbook is baffling. Equipping future generations with knowledge of natural selection is important for everyone, as it helps with dealing with pandemics, taking care of health, improving agricultural productivity and caring for the environment. The dilution of the CBSE curriculum is likely to drive greater demand for the booming coaching class industry. Families will end up having to spend more of their incomes on fees. Those who cannot afford it will be the worst affected.
India, unlike Western and Middle Eastern societies, does not have a doctrinal problem with science. There is no holy book, word of god or scripture whose literality must be defended against new discoveries. I can understand why religious conservatives in the United States challenge modern biology and the evolutionary science it is based on, for it directly contradicts their article of faith. Darwin does not pose such a fundamental threat to religious conservatives of Indic faiths—the story of the origin of the earth and of humans is not a major concern. In fact, there are many different versions of the origin story, none of which are central to the practice of one’s faith, none of which matter to the conduct of daily life, and none of which get in the way of one’s pursuit of knowledge.