The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on Thursday explained the reason behind their decision to permanently drop certain chapters from Class 10 textbooks.

Their statement came after the NCERT deleted the chapters ‘Democracy and Diversity’, ‘Challenges to democracy’ and ‘Popular struggles and movements’ from the social science textbook 'Democratic Politics' Book 2 of Class 10 and removed the periodic table from Class 10 textbooks.

NCERT deleted 30% of the syllabus in a rationalisation exercise in 2021-22 to lighten the load on students in view of the pandemic. Now, the deletions have been made permanent, and new omissions have come to light such as that of the periodic table and Darwin's evolution theory.

In a Twitter thread, the NCERT said that the exercise to rationalise the contents of textbooks began during the pandemic for several reasons.

Pieces of content were dropped if they overlapped with similar content included in the other subject area in the same class, the government body said. NCERT also gave other reasons such as scrapping outdated or irrelevant content, or those with a high difficulty level in favour of easily accessible content that doesn’t require intervention.

Regarding the deletion of concepts of the periodic table and evolution from Class 10 textbooks, the NCERT said the concepts have not been removed from the school curriculum.

“They are available in appropriate detail in Classes 11 and 12,” it said in the Twitter thread. It said that students pursuing science in Classes 11 and

12 will study the details of the periodic classification of elements.

“Discussion about basic concepts such as elements, symbols, formation of compounds, atoms and molecules have been dealt with in Class 9. In Class 10, chemical reactions; acids, bases and salts; metals and non-metals; carbon and its compounds have been covered,” it added.

Regarding the three chapters dropped from the social science textbook for Class 10, the NCERT said that the expert committee carrying out the syllabus rationalisation had said that they were more appropriate as parts of sociology rather than social science.

"It is to clarify that dropping portions relating to social movements from Class 10 Political Science textbook, Democratic Politics II and Class 12 Politics in India Since Independence, the expert committee in the process of rationalisation was of the view that these are more appropriate to be the part of Sociology subject. Chapter one of Class X, Democratic Politics- II already deals with some aspects of Social Movements," the NCERT said in another Twitter thread.

Apart from the deletion of the periodic table and chapters related to democracy, in April, the NCERT decided to remove Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution from Class 9 and Class 10 science textbooks.

Furthermore, references to Mahatma Gandhi's assassination and independent India's first education minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, were removed from the Class 11 Political Science textbooks. Reference to Mughal history has also been shortened at various levels from NCERT textbooks.

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