Is Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) not part of India, academicians asked education minister Vinod Tawde in a letter recently.
They asked Tawde to correct a Class 10 geography textbook for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) board that has reportedly not shown the population of PoJK in a map on population distribution.
The inaccurate map is among the several mistakes printed in the textbook, which will be used from the upcoming academic year.
The Mumbai Geography Teachers’ Association has written to Tawde to correct the mistakes before the academic year begins in June. The map containing the error has been printed in the textbooks to be used by more than 17 lakh SSC students.
Although some teachers said it would not have been possible to acquire details of the number of people living in the occupied territory as Indians enumerators could not have crossed the Line of Control (LOC – the line separating PoJK and Jammu and Kashmir), academicians have claimed that the map is misleading the students.
“One of the biggest mistakes is that the map shows that PoJK is not populated. By doing so, we are sending out a wrong message to the students that no one lives in this area or it does not belong to us,” said Vidyadhar Amrite, a member of the association, who used to teach at Sathaye College, Vile Parle. “We will move the high court if the mistakes are not corrected soon.”
Responding to the complaints, Tawde said they will form a forum to look into textbook mistakes. “Printing of textbooks had already begun in October. By the time I became the education minister, we could not do anything about it,” Tawde told Hindustan Times. “But we are thinking of creating a forum of experts who can look into such complaints and then recommend action.”