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West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI)

Restore secularism, democracy chapters in syllabus: Mamata

Banerjee appeals to the Union govt to ensure these vital lessons aren’t curtailed at any cost

NEW DELHI : In a political twist to the school syllabus controversy, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday expressed her shock over the central government’s decision to delete chapters on secularism, democracy and diversity, food security, and federalism from the CBSE school books for the current academic year. She urged the Centre to undo these changes.

“Shocked to know that the Central Govt has dropped topics like Citizenship, Federalism, Secularism and Partition in the name of reducing CBSE course during covid crisis. We strongly object to this…" Banerjee tweeted.

She appealed to the human resource development ministry (HRD) and the Union government to “ensure these vital lessons aren’t curtailed at any cost". Following a direction from the HRD ministry, the central board of secondary education (CBSE) has curtailed the school syllabus for class 9-12 by 30% to help schools and students deal with the covid-19 disruptions.

In the revised syllabus, the school board has removed some chapters. For example, the class 11 political science curriculum will not teach federalism in the 2020-21 academic year. Sections on citizenship, secularism and nationalism have also been removed for this year. The revised social science syllabus of class 10 has removed chapters like ‘Democracy and Diversity’, ‘Gender, Religion and Caste’, ‘Popular Struggles and Movements’, and ‘Challenges to Democracy’.

Among other issues, chapters or sections like regional aspirations, the changing nature of India’s economic development, and the five-year plan and planning commission have been deleted in the revised syllabus for the 2020-21 academic year.

Besides, chapters on goods and services tax (GST) and demonetization, too, will not be taught in the 2020-21 academic session.

“The revision of syllabus is a measure taken due to the extraordinary situation prevailing in the country and at different parts of the world. Considering the importance of achieving the level of learning, the syllabus has been rationalized to the extent possible up to 30% by retaining the core concepts," the HRD ministry said on Tuesday.

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