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Even as the storm over the Ambedkar cartoon rages, there had been no protest over the NCERT books earlier. The political science books for classes IX to XII which have been recalled were being used in at least 15 states for the past five years. Not one state ever complained to the National Monitoring Committee. Naturally, the political uproar caught former NCERT director Krishna Kumar unawares. I am totally puzzled by the reaction. The textbooks have been approved through due processes. All textbooks have been approved by the National Monitoring Committee appointed by the HRD ministry that includes several civil servants, experts, academicians and media persons. It is being taught in 15 states of very different political ideologies for the last five years only because the books are of very high quality, "he said.
The books that were put together for political science were Democratic Politics 1 & 2 (a compulsory read for Class IX and X students); Contemporary World Politics, Political Theory, Politics in India Since Independence and Indian Constitution at Work prescribed for Class XI and XII students of political science. This last book, Indian Constitution at Work is what caused the furore over the inclusion of a B R Ambedkar cartoon that’s been in existence since 1949 but was never a subject of controversy. On Monday, 14th May, 2012 another NCERT book, Democratic Politics 1, prescribed for Class IX, was also criticized in Parliament for another set of cartoons. The textbooks were developed in 2005 to 2007 by Textbook Development Committees constituted by the NCERT, and chaired by experts in the concerned areas.
Courtesy: Times of India
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