The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council has dropped lessons on former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, writings on caste and marginalisation, the Mandal Commission report and the 2002 Gujarat riots from the Class 12 state board syllabus, The Indian Express reported on Thursday, September 24. The move comes as part of the 30 per cent reduction in syllabus amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials have stated that the sections were chosen after consultation with teachers and subject experts in the state.
The sections omitted under Political Science, under the title 'Politics in India since Independence' include the first three general elections, Nehru's approach to nation-building and his foreign policy and the political succession after him. It also included famine and suspension of five year plans, politics of Garibi Hatao, Navnirman movement in Gujarat, Punjab crisis and the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
Furthermore, the implementation of the Mandal Commission report, elections 2004 and the Ayodhya dispute and the 2002 Gujarat riots were also omitted.
Meanwhile, topics related to the Congress party and its history, the Kashmir conflict, wars with Pakistan and China, the Emergency, and the rise of the Janata Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party are among the topics that are included in the syllabus.
A list of the parts of the curriculum that were dropped was recently uploaded on the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) website.
Furthermore, 'Kinship, Caste and Class' section is no longer part of the history syllabus. In addition, 'Memories of Childhood', in which students studied parts of autobiographical writings of two women writers - Zitkala-sa, a great Native American writer and reformer, and Bama, a Tamil Dalit writer and teacher, has been omitted from English.
"It is well known to all that due to Pandemic Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) students of our state (have) already lost valued academic time. After the CBSE decided to reduce the volume of the course for class XI & XII, the AHSEC was seriously deliberating upon the issue," Manoranjan Kakati, Secretary of the AHSEC, said in the official note attached to the reduced syllabus.
He added that the aim is to reduce exam stress of the students of the session 2020-21.
"The decisions were taken by experts and teachers. And not one expert or one teacher, but a wide range, from institutions across the state. If complaints come up, we will hold meetings again and decide further," Kakati told the media.
The Council had sought the views of educationists and teachers in July.