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New NCERT books: Zippy, fun

HRD MINISTER Arjun Singh on Wednesday released the new NCERT textbooks -- cleaned of any saffron agenda. The books, which promise to be more interactive and less stressing for students, are based on National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005.

india Updated: Apr 06, 2006 13:41 IST

HRD MINISTER Arjun Singh on Wednesday released the new NCERT textbooks -- cleaned of any saffron agenda. The books, which promise to be more interactive and less stressing for students, are based on National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005.

The books on different subjects for classes I, III, VI, IX and XI are to be introduced from the coming academic year. Social Science textbooks, especially that of history, which had been painted saffron (during the previous NDA rule), have undergone maximum changes. 

Illustrations, cartoons and pictures of historical importance have replaced narratives. In-depth discussion on democracy in India and elsewhere, judicial activism, the present political situation and India's response to global changes have found space.

A new approach has been adopted for history textbooks of each class with an aim to understand the subject in the present context, said NCERT director Krishna Kumar.  He said 10 states including BJP-ruled Jharkhand have decided to adopt the NCERT textbooks.

Arjun Singh said his ministry played no role in framing the new textbooks but made an oblique attack on the BJP, saying: "Some people may try to rake up controversy. But no one should be bothered." Apart from history, books for subjects like mathematics and science have also been made more interesting and student-friendly.

The NCERT director said the idea is to help children learn maths by constructing their own knowledge, rather than procedural knowledge. For the first time in science textbooks, environment studies has been introduced in Class III but with a different treatment of themes revolving around family and friends, food, shelter, water and travel.

Issues like disabled children, caste and gender disparities have been addressed through stories in the books. The books have a unique combination of cartoons, illustrations, pictures and folk tales for better understanding of the subjects.