In a step that assumes added significance during the ongoing elections, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to scrap chapters on ‘democracy and diversity’ from the Class 10 social science syllabus for the 2019-2020 session.

The three chapters cut from the Democratic Politics Book 1 – ‘Democracy and Diversity’, ‘Popular Struggle and Movements’ and ‘Challenges to Democracy’ – will be “assessed in the periodic tests, but will not be evaluated in the board examination,” CBSE said in a statement.

This move, as per the Board, has been taken as a part of the ‘curriculum rationalisation exercise’ that has been undertaken by the Human Resource Development Ministry and will help “reduce the burden and pressure of the curriculum on the students”.

But given the contents of the chapters and the timing of the move, CBSE’s rationalisation seems to lack depth.

CBSE Overstep?

Several academics and teachers are of the opinion that the decision is not right and is an overstep by the CBSE.

Professor Satvinderpal Kaur of the department of education, Panjab University, was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times: “Chapters such as ‘popular struggle’ and ‘movements and challenges to democracy’ have their own importance in making of the child understand past struggles. The child’s knowledge of these topics must be holistically evaluated. What is being done is not healthy and will have a harmful long-term effect.”

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