Government has no plans to remove Rabindranath Tagore from school books: Prakash Javedekar

Rabindranath Tagore, Prakash Javadekar, Education News, Indian Express, Indian Express News

The text on Rabindranath Tagore will not be removed from school textbooks, HRD Minister Prakash Javedekar assured Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. Replying to TMC MP Derek O’Brien’s question during the zero hour, Javadekar said that the government has respect on Tagore and all others who had contributed to the freedom and literature of the country. “We hail everybody and nothing will be removed,” he said.

For NCERT books, the government has asked teachers and others to give suggestions to correct or remove “any factual errors” in textbooks, and as many as 7000 suggestions have been received, Javadekar said. “We will not do anything which will create some problem,” he added.

During the zero hour, O’Brien raised that RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas has suggested to remove Tagore’s works and references from the syllabus. “Rabindranath Tagore does not need a certificate from anybody,” he said and asked the minister to disassociate from the Nyas. After the minister’s statement, O’Brien walked up to Javedekar to present to him three books on Tagore for his reading.  Naresh Agarwal of SP said that the Nyas has also suggested to remove Urdu words and Mirza Ghalib from textbooks.

D Raja (CPI) raised the issue of thousands of college and university teachers staging a demonstration in the national capital to protest the government “apathy” regarding the education sector. UGC and AICTE are under a cloud of uncertainty and there are fears of they are being dismantled and replaced, he said, adding this was an attempt to “bureaucratise, centralise and commercialise education”. Raja demanded an increase in the budget allocation to education to 10-15 per cent of the GDP.

Javedkar said his ministry was engaged with the teachers. “We are not dismantling anything,” he said. reforming the regulator and giving more autonomy to the institutions.”