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NCERT proposes replacing ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ in books, also seeks to teach ‘classical history’ instead of ‘ancient history’

Isaac further stated that the panel has proposed the inclusion of the Indian Knowledge System (IKS) in all subject educational materials, as well as the inclusion of 'classical history' in history texts rather than 'ancient history'.

On Wednesday (25th October), the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) proposed to change its books to replace the word ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’. The recommendation was made by a panel of NCERT constituted for social sciences, the committee’s chairperson CI Isaac said.

According to Isaac, the call for it was made uncontested by the seven-member high-level committee, and it was also mentioned in the panel’s final position document on social sciences.

“The term India started being used commonly only after the establishment of the East India Company and the battle of Plassey in 1757. On the other hand, the use of the term India dates back more than 5,000 years. Against this backdrop, all the seven-panel members decided to recommend the use of Bharat in textbooks for students in all classes,” Issac was quoted as saying.

Notably, the Indian Constitution defines India as Bharat as it notes that “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.” Bharat is an age-old name. The use of the name Bharat finds its mention in ancient texts such as Vishnu Purana, which is 7,000 years old, Issac noted.

The announcement comes just days after the Centre was seen promoting the usage of the name Bharat, with invitations to the G20 presidential dinner in September stating that the event would be hosted by the “President of Bharat.” The nameplate in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G20 Heads of State summit later included the word Bharat as opposed to India.

Isaac further stated that the panel has proposed the inclusion of the Indian Knowledge System (IKS) in all subject educational materials, as well as the inclusion of ‘classical history’ in history texts rather than ‘ancient history’.

“In the colonial British rule, Indian history was divided into three phases – ancient, medieval, and modern. This inaccurately showed the ancient Indian history as a period of darkness and lack of scientific awareness,” Issac said.

“Therefore, we have suggested that the classical period of Indian history be taught in schools along with medieval and modern periods,” he added.

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