CBSE Class 11 syllabus altered due to COVID-19; chapters on secularism, federalism, citizenship and nationalism knocked out

New Delhi: Pursuing its ideological agenda, the Modi Government on Tuesday knocked out the chapters on secularism, federalism, citizenship and nationalism from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)'s political science curriculum of class 11 from the new academic year.

Though the CBSE asserted that revisions were made as part of rationalising the syllabus in view of the coronavirus pandemic, the subjects removed show the intention of the government. It said the syllabus for schools has been revised because of the “extraordinary situation” prevailing in India and other parts of the world. “Considering the importance of achieving the level of learning, the syllabus has been rationalised to the extent possible by retaining core concepts,” the board said in a circular.

Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokriyal 'Nishank' said the Centre had asked the educationists for suggestions on how to reduce the burden on students. “I am glad to share that we received more than 1.5K suggestions,” he tweeted. “Thank you, everyone, for the overwhelming response.”

Evem sub-sections like “why do we need local governments?” and “growth of local governments in India” have also been removed from the curriculum.

The revised curriculum along with the list of deleted chapters and topics has been uploaded by CBSE on its website. The political science syllabus for Class 10 students has also been restructured by removing the chapters on democracy and diversity; gender, religion and caste; popular struggles and movements, among other sections.

“The heads of schools and teachers may ensure that the topics that have been reduced are also explained to the students to the extent required to connect different topics,” the CBSE said in a statement. “However, the reduced syllabus will not be part of the topics for internal assessment and year-end Board examination.”

Above instructions have been purposely included so that the Opposition does not get a chance to question the government. While the central government made the ideological move as CBSE comes under its domain, several BJP state governments have been changing and tinkering with the school curriculum for a pretty long time. as education comes under the concurrent list of subjects in the Constitution.

The UP government, for example, had dropped some of the popular authors like Munshi Prem Chand from middle and higher secondary curriculum. Ideological censorship aimed at removing such subjects which promote secularism or inculcate values of federalism etc has been going on in the BJP-ruled states for a pretty long time, an educationist familiar with the issue said.

The deletions in the curricula were made on the direction of the Education Ministry after it asked the CBSE to reduce the syllabus for Class nine to Class 12 for the academic year 2020-’21 by up to 30% to make up for the academic loss caused by the pandemic.

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