The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has omitted Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a liberation fighter and India’s first minister of education, from the new political science textbook for class 11. The NCERT eliminated some topics from the course last year as part of its “syllabus rationalisation” effort, claiming “overlapping” and “irrelevant” as justifications. These topics included lessons on the Gujarat riots, Mughal courts, Emergency, Cold War, and Naxalite movement, among others, from its textbooks.There was no mention of any updates to the class 11 political science textbook in the rationalisation memo.
According to the NCERT, there has been no curriculum cutting this year and the syllabus was rationalised in June of last year.
NCERT Director Dinesh Saklani repeated, “Certain changes not finding mention of in the rationalised content book could be a ‘oversight’.”The first chapter of the political science textbook for class 11, titled “Constitution – Why and How,” has had a line changed to remove Maulana Azad’s name from the meetings of the constituent assembly committee.
This sentence has been changed to say, “Usually, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel, or BR Ambedkar chaired these Committees.” The mention of Jammu and Kashmir’s conditional accession has also been removed from the tenth chapter of the same textbook, titled “The Philosophy of the Constitution”. The deleted sentence reads, “For instance, the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Indian union was based on a commitment to safeguard its autonomy pursuant to Article 370 of the Constitution.”