CBSE syllabus row: Several topics excluded, What says HRD Minister

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Tuesday, the CBSE syllabus for classes 9 to 12 was reduced by 30% for 2020-21 because of the loss of teaching time due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. On Thursday, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal tweeted on the “uninformed commentary” on the matter after criticism started to flow in regarding what was deleted from the CBSE syllabus.

“There has been a lot of uninformed commentary on the exclusion of some topics from #CBSESyllabus. The problem with these comments is that they resort to sensationalism by connecting topics selectively to portray a false narrative,” Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank tweeted today.

After the HRD minister announced the CBSE syllabus reduction on Twitter on Tuesday, an official CBSE notification informed that teachers could teach these deleted portions but they wouldn’t be assessed in the board exams across India.

After posts on social media started to note what was deleted from the CBSE Class 10 and CBSE Class 12 syllabus, CBSE even gave a clarification on Wednesday explaining more on the matter.

Deleted topics being covered under NCERT alternate academic calendar, says Pokhriyal

“As @cbseindia29 has clarified, schools have been advised to follow the #NCERT Alternate Academic Calendar, and all the topics mentioned have been covered under the same Academic Calendar,” the HRD minister explained.

“The exclusions are merely a one-time measure for exams, due to the #COVID19 pandemic. The only aim is to relax the stress on students by reducing the syllabus by 30 per cent,” Ramesh Pokhriyal tweeted on Thursday.

“This exercise has been carried out following the advice and recommendations of various experts and considering the suggestions received from educationists through our #SyllabusForStudents2020 campaign,” the HRD minister said.

HRD Minister on deleted portions in CBSE syllabus

“While it is easy to misconstrue exclusion of 3-4 topics like nationalism, local government, federalism, etc. and build a concocted narrative, a wider perusal of different subjects will show that this exclusion is happening across subjects,” the HRD minister wrote.

“To give a few examples, the topics excluded in #Economics are Measures of Dispersion, Balance of Payments Deficit, etc, topics excluded in #Physics are Heat Engine & Refrigerator, Heat Transfer, Convection & Radiation among others,” Ramesh Pokhriyal tweeted.

“In #Biology, portions of Mineral Nutrition, Digestion & Absorption have been excluded. It can be no one’s argument that these topics have also being excluded by malice or some grand design which only partisan minds can decipher,” he wrote.

“Similarly, some of the excluded topics in #Maths are Properties of Determinants, Consistency, Inconsistency, and Number of Solutions of System of Linear Equations by Examples and Binomial Probability Distribution,” he said.

“It is our humble request: #Education is our sacred duty towards our children. Let us leave politics out of education and make our politics more educated,” the HRD minister added.

What is the issue with the CBSE syllabus reduction?

The main point being criticized is why CBSE chose to drop important topics such as Citizenship, Secularism, Democratic Rights, Federalism, and Food Security in India from the syllabus for this year.

Critics said that the topic exclusion was done in a manner so that a certain narrative could be set.

Even West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted to say: “Shocked to know that the central government has dropped topics like citizenship, federalism, secularism, and partition in the name of reducing CBSE course during the Covid-19 crisis.”

What clarification did CBSE give?

On Wednesday, CBSE gave a clarification saying that the topics mentioned by media as deleted have been covered under the Alternative Academic Calendar of NCERT “which is already in force for all affiliated schools of the board.”

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