CBSE drops chapters on 'Democracy & Diversity', Islamic empires, Cold War from syllabus

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New Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has dropped chapters about the Non-Aligned Movement, the Cold War era, the rise of Islamic empires in Afro-Asian territories, the chronicles of Mughal courts and the industrial revolution from the history and political science syllabi of Plus-One and Plus-Two.

Similarly, in the Class 10 syllabus, the topic 'Impact of globalisation on agriculture' from a chapter on 'Food Security' has been dropped. The translated excerpts from two Urdu poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz in the 'Religion, Communalism and Politics: Secular State' section have also been excluded this year.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has also dropped from the course chapters on 'Democracy and Diversity'.

Rationalisation of syllabus by reinterpreting history?

Asked about the rationale behind the choice of topics or chapters being dropped, officials maintained that the changes were part of rationalisation of syllabus and are in alignment with recommendations by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

The chapter 'Central Islamic Lands' in the Class 11 history syllabus talks about the rise of Islamic empires in the Afro-Asian territories and its implications for economy and society, according to the description in last year's syllabus.

The chapter focuses on arenas of Islam in reference to its emergence, the rise of the caliphate and empire building.

Similarly, in the Class 12 history syllabus, the dropped chapter titled 'The Mughal Court: Reconstructing Histories through Chronicles' examines the chronicles of Mughal courts to reconstruct the social, religious and cultural history of the Mughals.

Board may revert to single board exam

The syllabus shared with schools for the 2022-23 academic session also hints at the board's decision to revert to a single-board exam in a session from the two-term examination last year.

While the two term-exam was announced as a one-time special measure taken in view of the Covid pandemic, the board officials had last week said a final call will be taken in due course of time keeping in mind the situation.

"CBSE annually provides curriculum for classes 9 to 12 containing academic content, syllabus for examinations with learning outcomes, pedagogical practices and assessment guidelines. Considering the feedback of stakeholders and other prevailing conditions, the board is in favour of conducting the annual scheme of assessment at the end of the academic session 2022-23 and the curriculum has been designed accordingly," a senior board official said.

However, this is not the first time the board has dropped from the syllabus certain chapters which have been part of the curriculum for decades.

As part of its decision to rationalise the syllabus, the CBSE in 2020 had announced that chapters on federalism, citizenship, nationalism, and secularism in the Class 11 political science textbook will not be considered while assessing students, triggering a major controversy.

The topics were restored in the 2021-22 academic session and remain a part of the curriculum.

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