Forced to comply with the Punjab and Haryana high court’s recent order, National Council of Education, Research and Training (NCERT) rectified more than 60 errors in the online edition of the biology textbook of classes 11 and 12, including exemplars, but the whole exercise appears ineffective going by the manner in which changes have been made.
Adding to the woes of thousands of medical aspirants, the NCERT has not properly indexed the list of errors it has rectified in its online edition, yielding no benefit especially to those set to appear in the coming All India Pre Medial Test (AIMPT), which is scheduled to be held next month.
Biology carries as much as 50% weightage in AIPMT, which is largely based on NCERT’s class 11 and 12 medical textbooks. Considering the sensitivity of the matter, the high court on March 13 this year ordered the NCERT to rectify the mistakes within 30 days.
Compiling the order, the NCERT made changes in the online version of the biology textbooks, while assuring to incorporate rectified errors in the next printing edition.
But as students complained, the changes in the online version of the textbooks are directionless.
A Chandigarh-based Class 12 medical student Maitri said she was unable to spot errors in the online edition of the biology textbooks. The NCERT should have given separate index conveying which error had rectified on which page to facilitate the students. But no such effort was visible, she said.
Chandigarh-based Arvind Goyal on whose petition the high court delivered its order said since next printing edition was set to take time, it was important for the NCERT not to leave any ambiguity in its online editions especially for sake of current batch students. But with no separate errata and further no template or teaser alerting the students, the whole exercise seemed to have rendered futile, Goyal said.
There is no clarity whether the NCERT conveyed changes incorporated to the central board of secondary education (CBSE), responsible for preparing the exam for AIPMT as well as conducting it a cross the country.
Arnav Aggarwal, the 2013 AIIMS topper from Chandigarh, recently told the Hindustan Times that he had lost five marks in 2013 CBSE PMT because of errors and confusion in NCERT books. The paper asked for the equivalent structure of Megasporangium. The options included Ovule and Nucellus and others. However, according to Class-11 NCERT textbook, both Ovule and Nucellus were correct answers, Aggarwal said. AKWazalwar, head of NCERT’s department of education in science and maths, said: “I will inform the internal committee of the NCERT to look into the issues raised by the petitioner as well as the students,” he added.
Earlier, AIPMT had several ambiguous questions in the biology section due to these glaring mistakes in the textbooks.