NCERT 2023 High-Level Committee - Are the 19 Members Really the Best Fit for Updating the Textbooks?

Expert panelists to revise and update NCERT textbooks for classes 3-12
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<red> August 21st, 2023 <red>

NCERT Book Revision Panel is All Set to Create New Textbooks.

Chancellor of NIEPA, MC Pant is all set to lead a 19-Member Committee tasked with school textbook revision in India, in alignment with National Curriculum Framework (NCF). This mandate covers classes 3-12. Additionally, it will also work on revising the existing textbooks of classes 1-2 to ensure a coherent transition to NCF.

The 19-Member committee comprises experts from various domains, specifically picked up to make the syllabus and textbooks more diverse and conclusive. Popular individuals like author and Infosys Foundation chair, Sudha Murthy, and renowned singer and musician Shankar Mahadevan are constituted in the committee.

The former has a valuable perspective on education’s social impact and later will be providing an artistic insight into intriguing music and arts in education. 

This committee will create an educational framework that aligns with contemporary needs while embracing cultural and regional diversity. Not a long time ago, on April 6th, 2023 a pre-draft by NCF was made public for feedback, its recommendations included Biannual board examinations and a semester system for CBSE class 12. 

Earlier, NCERT dropped various topics from the textbooks in a move to ‘rationalise’ the syllabus by removing portions related to social movements like, ‘Democracy and diversity’, ‘challenges to democracy’, and several other popular struggles and movements from CBSE class 10 SST textbook.

Also, references to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad were removed from the CBSE class 11 syllabus. References to Mughal history have also been shortened in the NCERT textbook.

Moreover, the CBSE class 10 chemistry textbooks have seen a 30% reduction in the syllabus including the removal of the Periodic Table and Darwin's theory of evolution. 

The 19-Member committee is yet another, but big step in this direction which will not just update but would rather change the whole textbook. And, it will be interesting to see, what other changes NCERT introduces next for CBSE class 10 students considering the latest pattern introduced gave higher weightage to competency-based questions. 

NCERT's latest move has been receiving mixed reactions from the public. While some are in favour of changing the syllabus, others are highly critiquing the idea and the chosen members of the committee. 

The Whole of India is waiting to see what more NCERT has in store. Till then, what do you think? Is it a logical move to remove chapters from ancient history, or is it yet another political propaganda gaining immense attraction?

Other members of the committee include -

Manjul Bhargava

A distinguished professor at Princeton University, and field medalist. He will serve as the co-chair of the committee, rich in Mathematical expertise.

Bibek Debroy

He is an Economist and Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council of the PM. As an Economist, he will be providing insights into policy implications for education.

Chamu Krishna Shastry

A founding member of the Samskrita Bharati and highly competent in Sanskrit education and language.

Sanjeev Sanyal

As an Economist, and Economic Advisory Council Member, will be contributing an economic perspective to education policy.

U Vimal Kumar

A former Chief National Badminton Coach, he has expertise in Sports Education and Coaching.

M D Srinivas

As a chairperson of the Centre for Policy Studies, he will provide policy insights for curriculum. 

Shekhar Mande

A former Director-General of CSIR and professor, he will be providing his scientific and research-based educational input. 

Surina Rajan

A retired IAS officer and education administrator, he will be responsible for educational management.

Michael Danino

A French author and IIT Gandhinagar professor, his presence will be a mixture of cultural and academic expertise.

Sujatha Ramadorai

As a Mathematics professor at the University of British Columbia, she will provide her International academic perspective on mathematics education.

Dinesh Kumar, Kirti Kapoor, Pratyusha Kumar Mandala, and Ranjana Arora,

are NCERT Representatives.

They will be contributing to curriculum design and educational content.

Rabin Chhetri

The director of SCERT, Sikkim, will be providing a regional representation. 

K Kasturirangan

A scientist and former Head of the National Steering Committee.

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