New school text books have inaccurate and hand drawn maps | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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New school text books have inaccurate and hand drawn maps

Mumbai city news: One of the maps shows Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka under water, while an entire chunk of Gujarat close to the border is missing in another

mumbai Updated: Jun 21, 2017 00:35 IST
Since 2013, every year, experts are pointing out embarrassing mistakes in the state board’s textbooks used by more than 17 lakh students.
Since 2013, every year, experts are pointing out embarrassing mistakes in the state board’s textbooks used by more than 17 lakh students.

For the fourth year in a row, the state government printed incorrect maps of India, this time in the new textbooks for Class 7 and Class 9, which recently hit the stands. The textbooks contain maps that look like they have been hand-drawn, while outlines of Gujarat, Kashmir and Mizoram have been shown inaccurately. 

Retired teacher Narendra Tamboli from Ahmednagar and retired professor Vidyadhar Amrute from Mumbai on Tuesday complained to the Survey of India, Dehradun, which had pulled up the state on several occasions in the past for showing Arunachal Pradesh as part of China, some part of Gujarat in Pakistan, among other errors. 

Similar mistakes are repeated in the new textbooks for Marathi medium, with roughly drawn maps that are not to scale. One of the maps shows Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka under water, while an entire chunk of Gujarat close to the border is missing in another. 

Asia’s terrain is not correctly depicted in one of the maps. This is misleading students because the markings are not realistic, said Tamboli. “It is surprising that similar mistakes were made by the state this year, even though they were reprimanded by the Survey of India couple of years ago,” Tamboli said. 

Since 2013, every year, experts are pointing out embarrassing mistakes in the state board’s textbooks used by more than 17 lakh students. 

Like factual content, maps are equally important, Amrute said. “Maps are crucial for students’ understanding. They help them visualise the concepts. By printing inaccurate maps, we are leaving students with a wrong impression of the country.” 

Before writing to the Survey of India, Tamboli had approached the state’s textbook publishing bureau, but his complaint fell on deaf ears. “We do not take complaints from an individual. Everyone has their own opinion and interpretation of the maps,” said Sunil Magar, director, Balbharti. 

Magar said the maps are included in the books after a careful study by a board of experts. “We have our own checks in place before publishing and these maps had cleared them,” said Magar. 

Ironically, it was an individual complaint that forced the state government to stick corrective stickers on maps in all the Class 10 geography textbooks in 2013 after Amrute, an individual teacher, complained about the errors.