The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has appealed to the Delhi High Court to withdraw its November 8 directive asking examiners not to set questions for the Board examination from certain objectionable paragraphs in the Indian history school book.
Appearing before a division bench of Justices Swatanter Kumar and HR Malhotra, senior counsel Prashant Bhushan said the order of the HC had put the examiners in a piquant situation.
Citing an example, Bhushan said, “How could the examiner not set a question on the caste system while referring to the paragraph which stated that the Aryans including the ‘Brahmins’ were beef-eaters in ancient days?” Bhushan said the NCERT and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have decided to delete most of the passages, which were mentioned in the petition, from the new books.
The bench directed NCERT to place the matter before the bench of Chief Justice MK Sharma and Justice Hima Kohli, who had passed the order in November directing the CBSE not to set questions on the passages objected to.
The court had asked both the CBSE and NCERT to delete the passages as they would hurt the religious sentiments of the people.
In an order, the judges said, “In our considered opinion, curriculum should be aimed to give positive education and the 20 objectionable passages should be taken out by the NCERT from textbooks from the next session starting April 1, 2007.”
The NCERT and CBSE had submitted that the schools had been directed not to set questions on the passages during the session and they would be deleted from the books from the next academic session.