Congress questions NCERT’s professionalism, says it is an RSS affiliate

Jairam Ramesh alleged that the institution has been functioning as an RSS affiliate since 2014 and is mounting an assault on Constitution.


Published Jun 17, 2024 | 3:04 PM Updated Jun 17, 2024 | 3:04 PM

Jairam Ramesh

Amid the row over the revision of NCERT textbooks, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Monday, 17 June, alleged that the institution has been functioning as an RSS affiliate since 2014 and is mounting an assault on the Constitution.

In a post on X, Ramesh said the National Testing Agency has blamed the NCERT for the ‘grace marks’ fiasco in NEET 2024.

It is only drawing attention away from the NTA’s own abject failures, he alleged.

“However it is true that the NCERT is no longer a professional institution. It has been functioning as an RSS affiliate since 2014. It has just been revealed that its revised Class XI political science textbook criticises the idea of secularism as well as what it considers policies of political parties in this regard.

“NCERT’s objective is to produce textbooks, not political pamphlets and propaganda,” the Congress leader said.

Alleges assault on Constitution

“NCERT is mounting an assault on our country’s Constitution in whose Preamble secularism features explicitly as a foundational pillar of the Indian republic. Various Supreme Court judgments have clearly held secularism to be an essential part of the basic structure of the Constitution,” he said.

Ramesh said the NCERT needs to remind itself that it is the National Council for Educational Research and Training, “not the Nagpur or Narendra Council for Educational Research and Training.”

“All of its textbooks are now of dubious quality vastly different from those that shaped me in school,” the Congress general secretary alleged.

TMC leader Saket Gokhale also hit out at the NCERT, saying, “Shameless NDA 1.0 Government” is hiding “inconvenient facts” from students.

“By this logic, why teach kids about other ‘violent depressing things’ like the World War?” he said.

“Are BJP and Modi ashamed of their history as criminals and rioters? Why hide the truth from students?” Gokhale asked.

Related: Babri masjid, Ayodhya: NCERT chief says no need to teach riots, demolition

NCERT rejects allegations

Rejecting accusations of saffronisation of the school curriculum, the NCERT director has said that references to Gujarat riots and Babri masjid demolition were modified in school textbooks because teaching about riots “can create violent and depressed citizens.”

In an interaction with PTI editors, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) director Dinesh Prasad Saklani said the tweaks in textbooks are part of annual revision and should not be a subject of hue and cry.

Saklani said, “Why should we teach about riots in school textbooks? We want to create positive citizens not violent and depressed individuals.”

He added, “Should we teach our students in a manner that they become offensive, create hatred in society or become victims of hatred? Is that education’s purpose? Should we teach about riots to such young children?

“when they grow up, they can learn about it but why school textbooks? Let them understand what happened and why it happened when they grow up. The hue and cry about the changes is irrelevant.”

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