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NCERT Remains Unchanged: 'India' and 'Bharat' Equivalency Confirmed by Govt

December 08, 2023
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The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) does not make a distinction between 'India' and 'Bharat,' stated Annapurna Devi, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, in response to queries posed by Rajya Sabha members Sandosh Kumar P and Elamaram Kareem. The members sought clarification on whether NCERT recommended using 'Bharat' instead of 'India' in textbooks and the reasoning behind it.

Govt Confirms: No Distinction Between 'India' and 'Bharat' in NCERT

In her written reply, Annapurna Devi highlighted Article 1 of the Constitution, affirming that "India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States." She emphasized that India's Constitution recognises both names equally and permits their interchangeable use. NCERT aligns with this constitutional principle and refrains from differentiating between the terms.

"As we transition away from the colonial perspective and promote the use of indigenous languages, NCERT, an independent body operating under the Ministry of Education and responsible for school curriculum and textbooks, is committed to actively supporting this initiative," the written response highlighted.

The question emerged some months following a proposal by an NCERT committee recommending the replacement of ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ in Social Science textbooks up to Class 12. Alongside this, the committee proposed additional alterations, including emphasizing Indian triumphs and substituting 'ancient history' with the 'classical period of Indian history'.

"At present, NCERT textbooks lack reference to post-independence history. Hence, our recommendation entails introducing historical events from 1947 till the present, while possibly reducing the hours devoted to pre-independence topics," stated Prof C.I. Issac, the committee's chairperson.