NCERT Panel Recommends Substituting ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ in School Textbooks

On Wednesday, CI Issac, the chairperson of a distinguished committee for social sciences, established by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to revise the school curriculum, made a significant announcement. The committee has proposed the replacement of the term ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ in textbooks, along with the introduction of ‘classical History’ in place of ‘ancient History’ within the curriculum.

Issac emphasized that this unanimous recommendation was included in the final position paper on social sciences, a crucial document laying the foundation for the development of forthcoming NCERT textbooks. The seven-member committee’s collective decision marks a notable shift in educational materials.

The Constitution, in Article 1(1), already recognizes India as ‘Bharat,’ stating, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.” This historical reference is deeply ingrained in the cultural tapestry of the nation.

Isaac noted that the name ‘Bharat’ has roots in age-old texts, like the Vishnu Purana, which dates back 7,000 years. In contrast, the term ‘India’ became widely prevalent only following the establishment of the East India Company and the Battle of Plassey in 1757. As a result, the committee firmly recommends the use of ‘Bharat’ in textbooks for students across all grade levels. This move seeks to embrace and emphasize the country’s rich historical and cultural heritage.

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