NCERT forms 19-member panel for textbooks revision

The newly formed committee will formulate new textbooks for grades 3 to 12, under the NEP; it will use the help of experts to complete the task, says a note circulated in Education Ministry

Updated - August 13, 2023 09:09 am IST

Published - August 12, 2023 10:24 pm IST - New Delhi

The high-powered committee that will formulate new textbooks is named The National Syllabus and Teaching Learning Material Committee.

The high-powered committee that will formulate new textbooks is named The National Syllabus and Teaching Learning Material Committee. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Noted children’s author and Infosys Foundation Chairperson Sudha Murthy, celebrated singer Shankar Mahadevan and Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC-PM) Chairman Bibek Debroy are among the newly formed 19-member committee of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) that will formulate new textbooks for Grade 3 to 12, as per National Education Policy (NEP).

In an internal note circulated in the Ministry of Education, the high-powered committee is named The National Syllabus and Teaching Learning Material Committee (NSTC).

“As a follow-up of the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020), development of the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCF-SE 2023) was initiated with the constitution of National Steering Committee,” the note states.

The NCF-SE is now in the advanced stages of development and shall act as the reference point and guiding roadmap for the syllabus and textbook developers for School Education al over the country.

“In this context, NSTC which is empowered to develop the school syllabus, textbooks, and teaching learning materials for Classes 3-12 (and to appropriately revise the existing textbooks of class 1 and 2 to ensure smooth transition from Class 2 to 3,) is being notified,” the note further says.

M.C. Pant, Chancellor of National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), is the Chairperson of NSTC, while Prof. Manjul Bhargava of Princeton University is the co-Chairperson.

Other noted members include Shekhar Mande, Former DG, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research; U. Vimal Kumar, Director, Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bangalore; Chamu Krishna Shastri, Chairperson, Bhartiya Bhasha Samiti; and Sanjeev Sanyal, Member, EAC-PM.

“The textbooks and other teaching learning materials will cover all curricular areas, and the subjects within, that are a part of the NCF-SE, as also their support materials such as teacher handbooks. The textbooks and other teaching learning materials developed and finalized by the NSTC shall be published and distributed by the NCERT,” the note further states.

The NSTC will be assisted by “Curricular Area Groups (CAGs)“ to develop textbooks and other teaching learning materials for each of the subjects included in the syllabus. “The Chairperson and Co-chairperson of NSTC will constitute the CAGs with appropriate experts and with the support of NCERT. The NSTC will be free to invite other experts for advice, consultation, and support as and when required. The NSTC will be assisted by a Programme Office set-up by the NCERT and NCERT shall provide a ll necessary expertise and support as per the needs of the INSTC,” the note mentions.

A few members of the National Steering Committee, the Mandate Group for the ‘National Curriculum Frameworks’, and other relevant experts, shall be drawn to form the NCF Oversight Committee (NOC). “The NOC will facilitate rigorous connection of the Textbooks and all the CAGs on the NCF-SE and subsequent engagement throughout the development process as required. The members of the NOC are being notified separately,” the note further states.

The committee will work to align the curriculum with the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCF-SE) developed by the K. Kasturirangan-led steering committee as a part of the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

While the final NCF-SE has already been submitted to the Union Ministry of Education, it is yet to be released in public domain. The draft of the framework was released in April.

The dropping of several topics and portions from NCERT textbooks in May triggered a controversy, with the Opposition blaming the BJP-led Centre for “whitewashing with vengeance”.

At the heart of the controversy was the fact that while the changes made as part of a rationalisation exercise were notified, some of the controversial deletions were not mentioned. This led to allegations about a bid to delete these portions surreptitiously.

Although the NCERT acknowledged that the omissions in the textbooks may have been unintentional, they declined to reverse the deletions.

The NCERT said the removals were made based on the recommendations provided by experts.

(With agency inputs)

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