“Bharat in place of India” recommended NCERT

Debjit Mukherjee: A panel on social sciences constituted by the NCERT has recommended replacing the name India with “Bharat” in school textbooks, the committee’s chairperson CI Isaac was reported as saying on October 25.

The recommendation was made unanimously by the seven-member high-level committee, Isaac reportedly said, adding that it also found a mention in the final position paper on social sciences drafted by the panel.

“The term India started being used commonly only after the establishment of the East India Company and the battle of Plassey in 1757,” Isaac said. On the other hand, the use of the term India dates back to more than 5,000 years, he added. In this backdrop, all the seven panel members decided to recommend the use of Bharat in textbooks for students in all classes, Isaac further noted.

Notably, the Article 1(1) of the Indian Constitution states that “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States”.

Shortly after the news of the panel’s recommendation emerged, NCERT issued a clarification to the media, stating that no such decision has been given the nod by the Council so far. Since the development of new syllabus and textbooks is in the process and for that purpose various Curricular Area Groups of domain experts are being notified by the NCERT, news agency ANI reported NCERT as stating. The education body that it would be “too premature to comment” on the matter.

Isaac further noted that the panel has recommended the introduction of Indian Knowledge System (IKS) in curriculum for all subjects, and also suggested that ‘classical history’ should be introduced in history textbooks, instead of ‘ancient history’.

In the colonial British rule, the Indian history was divided into three phases – ancient, medieval and modern. This inaccurately showed the ancient Indian history as a period of darkness and lack of scientific awareness, Isaac reportedly pointed out. “Therefore, we have suggested that the classical period of Indian history be taught in schools along with medieval and modern periods,” he further said.