UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar. (Photo | EPS)
UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar. (Photo | EPS)

UGC chief takes a jibe at academics criticising NCERT textbook revision

The dropping of several topics and portions from NCERT textbooks last month triggered a controversy, with the Opposition blaming the BJP-led Centre of "whitewashing with vengeance". 

NEW DELHI: After a group of academicians distanced themselves from the NCERT textbooks and sought their names to be dropped, more than 100 educators defended the revised chapters vigorously. They slammed the “narrow and self-interested” academics for maligning NCERT. 

Joining this group, which consisted of professors and vice-chancellors of India’s top institutes, including JNU, IITs, IIMs and Central Universities, was the University Grants Commission chairman M Jagadesh Kumar who claimed that the objective behind the “grumbling of protesting academicians was non-academic.”

“There is no merit in the hue and cry of these ‘academicians’,” said Prof M Jagadesh Kumar, the former vice chancellor of JNU. “NCERT has been revising textbooks from time to time in the past. NCERT is fully justified in rationalising its textbook contents,” he said in a series of tweets. 

Calling the academicians who wrote to the NCERT asking to drop their names from the political science textbooks as “arrogant and self-interested,” the group of 106 academicians, in a letter, said, “Through misinformation, rumours and false allegations, they want to derail the implementation of the National Education Policy-2020 and disrupt the updation of NCERT textbooks.” 

“Their demand that students continue to study from 17-year-old textbooks rather than updated ones in sync with the contemporary developments and pedagogical advancement reveals intellectual arrogance,” they said. “In their quest to further their political agenda, they are ready to endanger the future of crores of children,” they said.

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The New Indian Express