Union Minister Satyapal Singh has accused previous governments of “politicising” education and said that the shortcomings in NCERT books would be “rectified” soon as no changes have been made in them since 2004.
The Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development made the remark while replying to a query on the Madhya Pradesh government’s request to his ministry to “correct” a chapter, titled “Politics of Independent India”, in the Political Science textbook for Class 12.
Among other things, the chapter describes the BJP as a party promoting “the agenda of Hindutva.”
The chapter also touches on the 2002 Godhra riots and mentions erstwhile Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s famous “follow the Raj-dharma” advice to the then Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government.
When asked in this regard, Mr Singh said, “I thank you for bringing this to my notice. There has been no change in the NCERT (National Council Of Educational Research And Training) books since 2004 but we will rectify this immediately, though I don’t have the charge of school education.”
Mr Singh said that such contents showed that education was politicised earlier.
“Education should not be politicised, whether it is the Congress or the BJP,” he said.
While admitting that Indian educational institutions were lagging at the world level, he said the HRD Ministry has started initiatives to develop ten government universities and a similar number of private ones into world class educational institutions.
Citing the achievements of the NDA government, the minister said the Centre had taken several steps in the field of education.
He said seven IITs and IIMs each had been opened in the past four years.
The minister said access to the higher education has reached 25 per cent from 21 per cent while 1,034 new courses were started from Class IX to post-graduation.