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Not mandatory to follow NCERT pattern: BOSE official

As the NCERT has revised a chapter in the Class 12th text book of political science to drop a paragraph on separatist politics in J&K, the authorities in J&K Board of School Education (BOSE) are indecisive about the adoption of the pattern for the students in J&K.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has removed a topic titled “Separatism in Jammu and Kashmir” and have instead included a topic on “Abrogation of Article 370” in the textbook.

“But it is not mandatory for us to adopt the content in text books prescribed for students in J&K. We have a mandate to add or remove 15 to 20 percent of the content from text books and use content with local reference,” an official in JK BOSE said.

He said JKBOSE has already introduced a chapter on J&K Reorganization Act in class 10th text book of Civics wherein the students also read about abrogation of Article 370 in academic session 2019.

“So we need not introduce the same topic in class 12th political science text book,” the official said.

The NCERT has revised the chapter in the textbook “Politics in India since Independence” for the academic session 2020-21. The topic “Separatism and Beyond” has been deleted from the chapter, the scrapping of Article 370 has been included under the topic “Regional Aspirations.”

The Article 370 gave the erstwhile J&K state a special Constitutional status which was scrapped by Government of India in August 2019.

“In other states the session starts in August and they may go ahead with the new edition. But we will not make any changes in the text books as of now,” the Board official said.

He also said the Board will also see the content of the added portion and its demand in J&K.

“We will see what is written in chapter, if it pertains to our local demand then we will think about it but it should not be controversial as well. NCERT has given JKBOSE a right to go for contextualisation of the content in textbooks,” the official said.

Chairperson JKBOSE, Veena Pandita said they will not follow the same pattern of NCERT but will take a decision after holding proper deliberations on it.

“We will do it in a different way, the issue will be taken up in the academic committee wherein the content will be reviewed and final decision will be taken accordingly,” Veena Pandita said.

The deleted portion of the political science text books read: “One strand of separatists wants a separate Kashmiri nation, independent of India and Pakistan. Then there are groups that want Kashmir to merge with Pakistan. Besides these, there is a third strand, which wants greater autonomy for the people of the state within the Indian union.”

The revised portion reads: “J&K had a special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution but the region witnessed violence, cross-border terrorism and political instability with internal and external ramifications. The Article resulted in the loss of many lives, including that of innocent civilians, security personnel and militants. Besides, there was also a large scale displacement of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir valley.”

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