Nothing of this kind happened: Dharmendra Pradhan on ‘deletion’ of Darwin theory from textbooks

Pune (Maharashtra) [India], June 21 (ANI): Union Minister for Education and Skill Development, Dharmendra Pradhan, has clarified that there have been “no changes” regarding the alleged removal of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution from the 10th-grade textbook.

“There is a current controversy claiming that Darwin’s Theory of Evolution has been removed from science books by the NCERT and periodic tables have been dropped. I would like to publicly state that nothing of this kind has happened.”Dharmendra Pradhan said.

He made the statement during an event at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune.

Pradhan also mentioned that he reached out to the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training), an autonomous body responsible for curriculum development, to gather detailed information on the matter.

“According to the NCERT, during the COVID-19 pandemic, experts had advised that some repetitive content could be reduced temporarily and later reinstated. Thus, the content in Class 8 and 9 textbooks remains unchanged. In the Class 10 book, a portion related to the Theory of Evolution was deleted last year, but it remains unchanged in Classes 11 and 12,” said Pradhan.

During the discussion, Pradhan acknowledged a valid point raised about students who do not pursue science after Class 10 and their potential difficulty in understanding a particular aspect of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

He mentioned that periodic tables are taught in both Class 9 and Classes 11 and 12. The NCERT clarified that only one or two examples related to the theory were omitted. Pradhan assured that new textbooks are being created in accordance with the National Education Policy, which is currently being implemented.

While speaking on India’s rich culture and traditions, Pradhan said, “The knowledge capital of Indian tradition in our country is very deep, regardless of whether it is formally taught or not… I sometimes wonder who was the author of Ramayana Valmiki but who made it popular in North India? It’s Tulsidas….You go anywhere in India, Ramayana is quoted it’s with Tulsidas ji’s couplet followed by Kabir’s. India’s civilization has merged into India’s knowledge tradition, but as time changes, There is a challenge to keep it in a systematic and scientific way at the global level, otherwise, we have to suffer a stigma that this is a superstitious society merely telling old stories.”

As part of its curriculum rationalization exercise, the NCERT had previously announced that the chapter “Heredity and Evolution” would be replaced with “Heredity” in the Class 10 science textbook.

Several topics have been excluded from the chapter, including ‘Evolution’, ‘Acquired and Inherited Traits’, ‘Tracing Evolutionary Relationships’, ‘Fossils’, ‘Evolution by Stages’, ‘Evolution Should Not Be Equated With Progress’ and ‘Human Evolution’.