Special Correspondent

Committee headed by former UGC chairperson formed

  • MP Nirmala Deshpande, eminent writers Krishna Sobti and U. R. Ananthamurthy also part of committee
  • All new textbooks for Hindi under the scanner

    NEW DELHI: In view of protests voiced in both Houses of Parliament about objectionable content in Hindi textbooks brought out by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the Government on Wednesday ordered a review of these books. A six-member committee has been set up under the chairmanship of the former University Grants Commission Chairperson, Yashpal, for the purpose.

    The committee includes Mrinal Miri, chairperson of the National Monitoring Committee set up by the Government to oversee the process of syllabus formation and textbook writing, publication and distribution. Also on the committee are Rajya Sabha member Nirmala Deshpande, eminent Hindi writer Krishna Sobti, noted Kannada writer U.R. Ananthamurthy and former Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University Ashok Vajpeyi.

    The committee has been asked to review the textbooks in the light of the objections raised in various quarters and recommend any improvements or revisions deemed necessary.

    The committee has been asked to submit its report by September 30. While Prof. Yashpal was the chairman of the National Steering Committee set up by NCERT to review the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2000, and draw up its replacement, Prof. Miri was one of the 30 members on this committee.

    Responding to a vociferous discussion on the issue in the Rajya Sabha earlier this month, the Government had said that a probe was necessary into the objectionable passages in textbooks meant for children. Raising the matter, Bharatiya Janata Party member Ravi Shankar Prasad said the texts contained references to castes in terms that have been banned as unconstitutional and derogatory.

    New textbooks were introduced under the NCF 2005 from this academic year for Classes I, III, VI, IX and XI. As a result of the review, all the new textbooks for Hindi have been placed under the scanner.

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