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NCERT Calls Debate on Bharat or India “Useless,” says will Use Both in Textbooks

NCERT Calls Debate on Bharat or India “Useless,” says will Use Both in Textbooks

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NEW DELHI, June 17: Calling the debate over the issue “useless,” the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) director Dinesh Prasad Saklani took a firm stance on the ‘Bharat’ vs ‘India’ issue on Monday and said both the names would be used interchangeably.

Mr Saklani said both Bharat and India would be used in NCERT textbooks, as is the case in the country’s Constitution, wherever either of the terms be deemed appropriate. He also clarified that the council has no aversion to either Bharat or India being used in the textbooks.

The comments assume significance in the wake of a high-level panel working on the social science curriculum recommending that “India” should be replaced with “Bharat” in school textbooks for all classes.

Mr Saklani said, “It is interchangeable….our position is what our Constitution says and we uphold that. We can use Bharat, we can use India, what is the problem? We are not in that debate. Wherever it suits we will use India, wherever it suits we will use Bharat. We have no aversion to either India or Bharat.”

“You can see both being used in our textbooks already and that will continue in new textbooks. This is a useless debate,” Saklani said.

Last year, a high level committee constituted by NCERT to make revision to school curriculum recommended that India” should be replaced with “Bharat” in the textbooks for all classes.

Committee chairperson C I Isaac, who was heading the panel, had said they have suggested replacing the name “India” with “Bharat” in the textbooks, introducing “classical history” instead of “ancient history” in the curriculum, and including the Indian Knowledge System (IKS) in the syllabus for all subjects.

Commenting on Mr Saklani’s statement, Mr Isaac said. “The committee has unanimously recommended that the name Bharat should be used in the textbooks for students across classes. Bharat is an age-old name. The name Bharat has been used in ancient texts, such as Vishnu Purana, which is 7,000 years old.”

The Bharat vs India debate was initially triggered when the G20 invites sent to world leaders were in the name of ‘President of Bharat’ and not ‘President of India.’ Later, the nameplate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the summit in New Delhi also read “Bharat”, instead of India.

(Manas Dasgupta)


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