Punjab CM announces committee to review history syllabus

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today announced the constitution of a six-member oversight committee to examine the recommendations of the 2014 panel that reviewed the history syllabus and oversee all history books in the future.

The move comes in the wake of the Shiromani Akali Dal alleging that a major portion of Sikh and Punjab history had been removed from the Class 12 curriculum.

The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) and the Congress government maintain that the curriculum was only "re-aligned" to match the NCERT syllabus.

The chief minister today criticised the Opposition for unnecessarily politicising the issue and said his government had decided to prevent any such politicisation of history books by setting up a permanent committee to oversee the process of formulating the syllabus and ensuring error-free books on the subject.

He said the decision to review the syllabus and print books in alignment with the NCERT syllabus was taken during the SAD-BJP rule in 2014, and that the controversy on the issue was "politically motivated".

In fact, there were no history books earlier and what SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal was citing was merely a guide, he said at a press conference.

The chief minister asserted that the syllabus relating to the Sikh Gurus had not been deleted, and the entire history of the Gurus, starting from Baba Banda Bahadur, had been incorporated in a chronological order in the syllabi for classes XI and XII.

The committee will be headed by eminent historian Prof Kirpal Singh and will include former vice chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University Prof J S Grewal, former pro-vice vhancellor of GNDU Prof. Prithipal Singh Kapur, emeritus Prof. of History at Panjab University Indu Banga, and two eminent historians to be nominated by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, he said.

The committee has been mandated to consider and report on the recommendations of the expert group constituted by the PSEB in 2014 to review the changes made in the new history syllabus for classes XI and XII subsequent to the recommendations of the expert group and to suggest corrections, if any, Capt Amarinder said.

The committee has been asked to examine the contents of the text books prescribed for classes XI and XII and to suggest corrections for factual and other errors, if any, and to align, as may be practicably possible, the history syllabus with that prescribed by the NCERT, he said.

The committee has also been directed to oversee the syllabus and contents of history textbooks prescribed for all classes in the Punjab School Education Board and to ensure that there are no factual discrepancies, he said.


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