The Cuts from NCERT History Textbooks Are Symptomatic of a Larger Malaise

In March this year, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) announced its decision to remove three chapters from its Class IX history textbook: on clothing and caste conflicts; the history of cricket; and the impact of colonial capitalism on peasants and farmers.

Arshad Madani

Within a month, it has proclaimed another, similar cut, this time in the Class X history textbook, which is to shed chapters on nationalism in Indo-China, on the rise of cities, and on ‘novels, society and history,’ getting rid of 72 out of around 200 pages. All this is part of a curriculum rationalisation exercise set in motion by the human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar, who has declared his intention of cutting the syllabus by half across all subjects in order to lessen the burden on school students.