`Slight modification'in NCERT syllabus

NEW DELHI FEB. 15. Without divulging the details, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) today announced a "slight modification" in the structure of the history syllabus for Classes XI and XII. Announcing the changes, the NCERT said the modifications had been made in view of the suggestions received from some well-known historians and the Central Board of Secondary Education. Given the flak that the NCERT has come in for pushing through a curriculum revision without a national debate, the Council's press statement labours the point that it was open to suggestions.

Stating that the suggestions received from outside the Council had been incorporated, the statement draws attention to the fact that "the NCERT has been receptive to constructive suggestions...and shall continue to respect such suggestions for improving the overall education scenario of the country''. In the modified syllabus, the Ancient India component of the Class XI syllabus will now have 17 units as against the original 15. And, Medieval India — which in the syllabus released on January 21 had only three units — as now been organised into 22 units. Similar reorganisation has been done in the case of the Modern India and Contemporary World syllabus for Class XII with the former being divided into 19 units and the latter into 13 units as against the earlier 11 and eight respectively.

While the NCERT announced the changes in the Ancient India and Medieval India syllabus about a fortnight ago after some renowned historians questioned the organisation of topics, the course content for the latter has been reorganised yet again.

While the number of units had then been increased from three to 23, in this latest announcement, the NCERT claimed that the final syllabus for Medieval India would now have 22 units.

Though the historians critical of the way in which the NCERT had conducted the curriculum revision today reserved comment on the premise that nothing could be said without seeing the modified syllabus, they had come out with a strong statement when the Council announced the reorganisation of the Ancient India and Medieval India syllabus. Then, they hadsaid the manner in which the Council had overnight increased the number of units in the Class XI Medieval India syllabus from three to 23 "shows how cavalier the NCERT is in playing with the syllabus''.

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