The education system in India needs a serious overhaul. Time and again, such instances have come up where the books from which students are being taught as well as the examination papers that they are made to answer have no substance. After a CBSE question paper stating that 36-24-36 is the perfect figure for women, a Rajasthan textbook states that “the desirable physical attributes of an entrepreneur include ‘good height’ and ‘beautiful complexion’.”
As per a report in the Indian Express, Rajasthan is including textbooks on “socially relevant schemes” as a part of its curriculum for secondary and senior secondary classes. Among the four chapters in the book, a Class 12 textbook on Skill Development states that the “physical attributes” that are deemed desirable in an entrepreneur are: “Uttam swasthya, prabhavshali vyaktitva, acchi unchai, sundar rang, shaleenta, gambhirta (perfect health, impressive personality, good height, beautiful complexion, sobriety, seriousness).”
The change in curriculum is said to be in sync with the initiatives of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments at the Centre and in the state. The main focus od these books is on the announcements made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It also instructs the students to “internalise each word” of the Prime Minister’s Swacch Bharat pledge.
“Repeat the pledge delivered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to all citizens of the country on 2nd October 2014 and internalise its every word,” the chapter states.
To be studied by students from class 9 to 12, Samajopayogi Yojanayein (Socially-relevant Schemes) is a four-part series of textbooks. It includes four chapters each on central schemes like Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, and state government flagships programmes like Mukhyamantri Jal Swavalamban Yojana and Bhamashah Yojana.
The books have been prepared by a seven-member team of government school teachers. It also comprises of Budget announcements, and portions on the Make in India initiative and the Resurgent Rajasthan investment summit.
The Opposition Congress has strongly criticised the government over the changes claiming that first the BJP government altered and removed important historical facts from textbooks and now they are using school education for BJP propaganda.
The government, however, said that the changes were made to increase the number of local content on the books that are heavy on NCERT curriculum.