Amidst the controversy over revision of textbooks, the State Department of Pre-University Education (DPUE), which has adopted the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) rationalised syllabus for the I and II PU Science and Commerce streams for 2023-24 academic year, has dropped a chapter on poverty from the I PU Economics textbook.
Chapters on ‘poverty’ and ‘infrastructure’ have been dropped from the Indian Economic Development textbook, drawing criticism from economists and educationists.
The DPUE has officially adopted NCERT textbooks for I and II PU science stream (Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology (PCMB) and Commerce stream (Economics, Business studies and Statistics) students. The same economics textbook is followed by the Arts stream students also.
Recently, NCERT, the key government body that produces textbooks for students from class 1 to 12, rationalised these textbooks and dropped many lessons in textbooks, particularly related to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Mahatma Gandhi and others, attracting widespread criticism across the country.
“The Union government is trying to exaggerate the Indian economic system by hiding the facts about poverty. Understanding the facts and figures of the country’s poverty at the college level is the stepping stone to understand the development of the country and its economy. But the government is suffering from “Ache din’ concept. That’s why it has dropped chapters like poverty,” said economist and retired professor Babu Mathew.
Niranjanaradhya V.P., development educationist, added, “The Union government is ignoring the country’s realities of poverty, injustice, unemployment and other things and it is always claiming that this is an international conspiracy. At the I PU level, students should be taught about the realities of our country’s economy. It will help their future education. They are the stakeholders of the country’s future. They will find the solutions to various problems. Hiding the truth from them is nothing but destroying the country’s future.”
A I PU economics lecturer, on condition of anonymity, said, “Chapters like poverty and infrastructure are basic to understand the Indian economic system at the I PU level. In the degree courses, students will learn this issue in a broader way. There is no proper reason to drop this chapter. But we don’t have any other option than to follow the department’s instructions.”