Punjab CM announces panel to examine history syllabus, oversee for future too
Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday announced constitution of a six-member oversight committee, headed by historian eminent Kirpal Singh, to examine recommendations of a 2014 panel that had reviewed the history syllabus of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) and to oversee all history books in future too.
The move came in the wake of the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleging that a major portion of Sikh history was removed from the book for Class 12. The committee comprises JS Grewal, former vice-chancellor Guru Nanak Dev University; Prithipal Singh Kapur, former pro-VC of GNDU; and Indu Banga, emeritus professor, history, at Panjab University; besides two historians to be nominated by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), considered the apex body of the Sikhs.
Dismissing as politically motivated the controversy, the CM said at a press conference here that the decision to review the syllabus and books in alignment with syllabus of the National Council Of Educational Research And Training (NCERT) was taken during SAD-BJP rule in 2014. In fact, he added, there were no history books earlier — PSEB did not print books but only set the curriculum for which private publishers brought out books — and what the SAD president, Sukhbir Singh Badal, was citing was “merely a ‘guide’”.
He reasserted that there was no deletion of syllabus relating to Sikh gurus, and the entire history of the gurus was incorporated in chronological order in books for Classes 11 and 12.