The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) doesn't differentiate between 'India' and 'Bharat', the Education Ministry informed Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

This information was shared by Union Minister of State for Education Annapurna Devi in a written reply to a question asked by CPI(M) member Elamaram Kareem in the Rajya Sabha regarding an NCERT panel's recommendation to replace the country's name "India" with "Bharat" in school textbooks.

"Article 1 of the Constitution of India states that 'India', that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States'. India's Constitution recognises both 'India' and 'Bharat' as the official names of the country which can be used interchangeably. NCERT duly acknowledges this spirit as enshrined in our Constitution and does not differentiate between the two," she said.

The minister further said the country is collectively moving away from the colonial mindset and encourages the usage of the words in 'Bharatiya Bhasha' (Indian languages).

"NCERT, an autonomous

body under the aegis of the Ministry of Education involved in preparation of school curriculum and textbooks, will also do its best in furthering the same," the minister said.

A high-level committee for social sciences constituted by the NCERT to revise the school curriculum had in October recommended that "India" should be replaced with "Bharat" in school textbooks for all classes. The NCERT had said it was yet to take a call on the recommendations.

The name "Bharat" was first used officially when the government sent out G20 invites in the name of "President of Bharat" instead of "President of India". Later, the nameplate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the summit in New Delhi also read "Bharat".

The NCERT is revising the curriculum of the school textbooks in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

The council recently constituted a 19-member National Syllabus and Teaching Learning Material Committee (NSTC) to finalise the curriculum, textbooks and learning material for these classes.
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