National Curriculum: 24 in Charge of Restructuring Have Strong RSS Links
Of 25 focus groups, 17 feature members who are currently or have previously been linked with the RSS.
There are 25 groups that have been tasked with restructuring the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for schools. Each group has 7-10 members. Of these 25 focus groups, 17 feature members who are currently or have previously been linked with the RSS.
The revised NCF will be the foundation of the new NCERT books. This revelation comes only days after key passages were deleted from a range of Social Science textbooks.
The deletions are on topics such as Gujarat riots, Islamic rulers in India, and caste and caste discrimination among others.
Members With RSS Links
As many as 24 members who are working on different aspects of the NCF have relations with organisations linked to the RSS.
Datta Bhikaji Naik is a committee member of RSS-affiliated Vanavasi Kalyan Ashrams while Dr Bhagawati Prakash Sharma is the national convenor of RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM). Both of them are responsible for ‘Philosophy and Aims of Education’.
Anjali Deshpande, who is part of the group working on 'Gender Education', is part of Drishti Stree Adhyayan Prabhodhan Kendra, which has RSS links.
Professor Nilima Bhagabati, who is heading the group that is working on ‘Guidance and Counselling,’ is an executive member of RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal.
Dr Bishnu Mohan Dash, an associate professor at IGNOU, is the general secretary of Bharatiya Samaj Karya Parishad.
Eight Have Been With ABVP in the Past
At least 8 of the members have been associated with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the RSS student wing. Most of them have been office-bearers.
Professor CI Issac, a retired history professor, has been associated with the ABVP since 1975. The group work on ‘Gender Education’ comprises Rashmi Das, who has a PhD from JNU. She is a former President of ABVP’s JNU Unit.
Prof Mamata Singh, who is part of the focus group on Arts Education, has been associated with the ABVP for three decades.
Prof Milind Sudhakar Marathe, an associate professor, who is currently heading the focus group in charge of Science Education, has been the national president of ABVP.
Professor Payal Mago, Director of DUs Campus on Open Learning, was associated with the ABVP till a few years ago.
Raman Trivedi, who teaches at West Bengal’s University of Animal and Fishery Sciences. Prof Ashutosh Mandawi, was a post-holder with ABVP’s Chhattisgarh Unit. JP Singhal, was also a National President at one point.
What Is the Role of the Focus Groups?
The focus groups were formed with the intent of preparing position papers on various themes. The papers prepared by focus groups will provide a roadmap for the new textbooks. Each of the focus groups has 7-10 members.
The groups are expected to “develop a clear understanding of the theme in the context of perspectives and recommendations of the NEP-2020 specifically with regard to… curricular and pedagogical structure and to clearly specify implementation strategies for each stage.”
As per the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, four NCFs are being developed. Comprehensive strategies are to be worked out by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and NCERT.
(Sources: The Indian Express)
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