‘Out of the question’: NCERT on request by chief advisors to have their name removed from textbooks

'Out of the question': NCERT on request by chief advisors to have their name removed from textbooks

NEW DELHI: The withdrawal of association by an individual from a NCERT textbook is “out of question” as the books at the school level are “developed based on the state of knowledge and understanding of a given subject, and therefore at no stage, individual authorship is claimed”, the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has said.

The NCERT clarification came in response to a request by political scientists Yogendra Yadav and Suhas Palshikar to remove their names as chief advisors from political science textbooks after a rationalisation exercise was conducted that saw several chapters deleted or trimmed.
‘Copyright vested with NCERT’
The NCERT stated that Yadav and Palshikar were chief advisors in the Textbook Development Committees (TDC) set up during 2005-08.

“These committees were purely academic in nature and existed until the textbooks were developed. After the textbooks were published by the NCERT, their copyright
remained vested with the NCERT independent of the TDC. All members of the panels had given their concurrence on this through written undertakings.,” it said.
Acknowledgement of contribution
The NCERT further said that the roles of the TDC members “was limited to advising how to design and develop the textbooks or contributing to the development of their contents and not beyond this …. the withdrawal of association by any one is out of question. Textbooks are reflections/products of contributing efforts of all
The NCERT said it acknowledges the academic contribution of the TDC members and “only because of this, for the sake of record, publishes names of all TDC members in each of its textbook”.
Books have been rendered academically dysfunctional: Chief advisors
Embarrassed by the “arbitrary” and “irrational” cuts in NCERT textbooks, Palshikar and Yadav, who were chief advisors for the original Political Science books for classes 9 to 12 — published in 2006-07, had written to NCERT saying the rationalisation exercise has “mutilated” the books and rendered them “academically dysfunctional”. The duo had asked the NCERT to drop their names as chief advisors from all Political Science textbooks.

“While the modifications have been justified in the name of rationalisation, we fail to see any pedagogic rationale at work here. We find that the text has been mutilated beyond recognition. There are innumerable and irrational cuts and large deletions without any attempts to fill the gaps created … We were never consulted or even informed of these changes. If NCERT did consult other experts for deciding on these cuts and deletions, we explicitly state that we fully disagree with them in this regard,” read the letter sent to NCERT director Dinesh Saklani.
Palshikar, an academician and political scientist, and Yadav, political scientist and Swaraj India leader, were chief advisors for the Political Science books for classes 9 to 12 originally published in 2006-07 based on the 2005 version of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF).


‘Embarrassed With Textbooks’: Suhas Palshikar, Yogendra Yadav ask NCERT to drop their names

Their names are mentioned in a “letter to students” and the list of textbook development team at the beginning of each book.
“We believe that any text has an internal logic and such arbitrary cuts and deletions violate the spirit of the text. The frequent and serial deletions do not seem to have any logic accept to please the powers that be … These textbooks as they stand now do not serve the purpose of training students of political science both the principles of politics and the broad patterns of political dynamics that have occurred over time,” the letter read.
“Both of us would like to disassociate ourselves from these textbooks and request the NCERT to drop our names,” the letter read.
(With inputs from agencies)