NEW DELHI: As a controversy broke out over key chapters from various textbooks for classes 9-12 being left out in a bid to rationalise the syllabus, the Central Board of Secondary Education on Wednesday said the reduction has been "interpreted differently".
The board reiterated that the changes are "a one-time measure only".
The objective of the move was to reduce the exam stress of students in the middle of the COVID-19 emergency and to prevent learning gaps, CBSE insisted.
The clarification came after the Board drew sharp criticism for dropping key chapters on secularism, democratic rights, gender, religion and caste, food security in India among other topics as part of the syllabus revision exercise that has been done in the view of academic disruption due to the pandemic.
The CBSE and the Union Human Resources Development Ministry on Tuesday had declared that up to 30 per cent curriculum is being reduced in higher secondary classes in order to lessen the stress on students in senior secondary classes.
The board had also released a document on chapters dropped which showed that in class 9 political science syllabus, the chapters on democratic rights and structure of the Indian Constitution have been removed completely. From the economics syllabus, the chapter on food security in India has also been dropped.
As for Class 11 students, they will not need to study the chapters on federalism, citizenship, nationalism, secularism and growth of local governments in India.
The board on Wednesday while maintaining that no question will be asked from the reduced syllabus in the Board Exams 2020-21 only, also said that the schools have also been directed to follow the alternative academic calendar prepared by NCERT for transacting the curriculum.
"Therefore, each of the topics that have been wrongly mentioned in the media as deleted have been covered under Alternative Academic Calendar of NCERT which is already in force for all the affiliated schools of the Board," the statement by the board read.
The Board underlined that the topics being mentioned "as dropped are either being covered by the rationalized syllabus or in the alternative academic calendar of NCERT".
Many prominent people including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had criticised the CBSE move.
"Shocked to know that the Central Govt has dropped topics like Citizenship, Federalism, Secularism & Partition in the name of reducing CBSE course during #COVIDCrisis. We strongly object to this & appeal @HRDMinistry, GoI to ensure these vital lessons aren't curtailed at any cost," she had tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.