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Bharat and ‘India’ to be Used Interchangeably in Textbooks:NCERT Chief

New Delhi, June 18 – The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has decided that “Bharat” and “India” will be used interchangeably in school textbooks, aligning with the country’s Constitution. This was confirmed by NCERT Director Dinesh Prasad Saklani, who emphasized the council’s neutral stance on the matter.

Saklani’s remarks come amidst discussions sparked by a high-level panel’s recommendation to replace “India” with “Bharat” in social science curricula. The NCERT chief clarified that both terms are constitutionally valid and can be used as contextually appropriate, dismissing the debate as unnecessary.

In an interaction with PTI editors, Saklani stated, “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.” He noted that current textbooks already incorporate both terms and this practice will continue in new editions.

The suggestion to prioritize “Bharat” was made by a high-level committee led by C I Isaac. The panel proposed several curriculum changes, including introducing “classical history” instead of “ancient history” and incorporating the Indian Knowledge System (IKS) across subjects.

Isaac defended the recommendation, citing the historical significance of “Bharat” as an age-old name used in ancient texts like the Vishnu Purana. Despite the panel’s unanimous support for this change, NCERT had stated that no decision had been made regarding the recommendations.

The term “Bharat” gained official attention last year when the government issued G20 summit invitations using “President of Bharat” instead of “President of India.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nameplate at the summit also read “Bharat.”

The NCERT has faced renewed scrutiny with the latest revisions to the Class 12 political science textbook, which now omits the term “Babri masjid,” referring to it instead as a “three-domed structure.” Other deletions include references to BJP’s ‘rath yatra,’ communal violence post-demolition, and the BJP’s regret over the Ayodhya events.

The new Class 11 political science textbook also reflects a shift, stating that political parties may prioritize minority interests for “vote bank politics,” a departure from previous content suggesting there was “little evidence” to support this claim. These changes have sparked controversy and debate about the representation of historical and political events in educational materials.

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