The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has dropped the chapters on periodic table, democracy and sources of energy from Class 10 textbooks.
Complete chapters on the above mentioned subjects now stand deleted as a part of a “rationalisation” meant to reduce the “burden on students”.
Among the topics dropped from the science textbook are chapters on periodic table, environmental sustainability and sources of energy.
Full chapters on democracy, challenges to democracy and political parties have also been dropped for Class 10 students after the latest revision.
The changes affect some 134 million 11–18-year-olds in schools across India.
Researchers, including those who study science education, say that they are shocked.
“Anybody who’s trying to teach biology without dealing with evolution is not teaching biology as we currently understand it,” says Jonathan Osborne, a science-education researcher at Stanford University in California told the scientific journal Nature. “It’s that fundamental to biology.”
“The periodic table explains how life’s building blocks combine to generate substances with vastly different properties,” he adds, and “is one of the great intellectual achievements of chemists”.
Earlier this year, the NCERT had come under fire for dropping the theory of evolution from the Class 10 science textbook.
Mythili Ramchand, a science-teacher trainer at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India, said to the journal that “everything related to water, air pollution, resource management has been removed. “I don’t see how conservation of water, and air [pollution], is not relevant for us. It’s all the more so currently,” she adds.