Punjab puts on hold release of Class 12 history book
Chandigarh, May 8 (IANS) After a major controversy over alleged removal of chapters on Sikh Gurus and Sikh history from history syllabus, the Punjab government on Tuesday decided to hold back the release of Class XII history books till the Oversight Committee examined the issue and decided on the way forward.
“Following Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s decision to set up the six-member Oversight Committee headed by eminent historian Prof Kirpal Singh, it is felt it will be better for the newly constituted panel to review the book before its further release,” a Punjab government spokesperson said here.
The Punjab School Education Board has also been directed to facilitate the committee to complete this task at the earliest.
The Punjab government on Monday announced the establishment of a permanent six-member Oversight Committee to examine the issue.
Eminent historian Prof Kirpal Singh will head the committee, which will comprise former Guru Nanak Dev University Vice Chancellor Prof J.S. Grewal, former GNDU Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Prithipal Singh Kapur, Panjab University History Emeritus Prof Indu Banga, besides two eminent historians to be nominated by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.
“The committee has been mandated to consider and report on the recommendations of the Expert Group constituted by the Punjab School Education Board in 2014, to review the changes made in the new syllabi in History subject prescribed for Classes XI and XII subsequent to the recommendations of the Expert Group, and to suggest corrections, if any,” a Punjab government spokesman said here on Monday.
The Committee will also examine the contents of the text books prescribed for these classes and to suggest corrections for factual and other errors, if any, and to align, as may be practicably possible, the History syllabus with NCERT, he added.
The committee will also exercise oversight on the syllabi and contents of text books prescribed for History for all classes by Punjab School Education Board and to ensure that there are no factual discrepancies.
The Shiromani Akali Dal said on Tuesday that its stand on the deletion of Sikh history from Class 12 syllabus has been “fully vindicated” by the setting up of the six-member panel.
The party said the Amarinder singh government’s decision was a “correct, though belated step in the right direction”.
“This is precisely what we have been demanding all along. This is just the step which former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had urged Amarinder Singh to take. Had the government listened to him then, the entire unsavoury controversy could have been avoided,” SAD Senior Vice President Daljit Singh Cheema said in a statement here.
The Congress government has come under sustained opposition attack in the past after a row over alleged dilution of Sikh history in PSEB books.
The Chief Minister on Monday said the decision to review the History syllabi and print text books in line with NCERT syllabi was taken during the earlier Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party government’s rule in 2014.
“In fact, there were no History books earlier and what SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal was citing was merely a guide,” Amarinder Singh pointed out.
The Chief Minister reasserted that there was no deletion of any part of the syllabi pertaining to the Sikh Gurus, and that the entire history of the Sikh Gurus had been incorporated in the chronological order in Class XI and XII syllabi.