Uttarakhand education board’s syllabus will be revised to include Hindu scriptures, state Education Minister Dhan Singh Rawat on Sunday, ANI reported.
“We will be including Vedas, the [Bhagavad] Gita, Ramayana and history of Uttarakhand in the syllabus after taking suggestions from the public and consulting the academicians,” he said, according to ANI.
The National Education Policy will also be implemented in the upcoming session, he said. The National Education Policy was approved by the Union government in July 2020 and was the first such revision in 34 years.
It encourages the use of technology, the study of Sanskrit, and teaching in one’s mother tongue or regional languages up to grade five.
Rawat said that a meeting of departmental officers has been called on May 2 to prepare the revised syllabus under the new education policy, according to the Firstpost. He made the remarks at the inauguration of an education programme, Pariksha Parv 4.0, at Doon University organised by the state commission for protection of child rights and education department.
“The aim of introducing these texts in the curriculum is to acquaint school students with their culture and traditional Indian knowledge,” Rawat told the Times of India.
Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh are also making the Bhagavad Gita a part of their academic curriculums. On March 17, Gujarat’s Education Minister Jitu Vaghani had said that the state will include the Hindu scripture in its syllabus of state-run schools from Class 6 to Class 12.
Himachal Pradesh Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur had also said that the Bhagavad Gita will be taught to school students from grade nine onwards, NDTV reported.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh on April 27 had said that the Bhagavad Gita, unlike the Bible and Quran, is not a religious text as it speaks about the “values of life” and not religious practices. Religious books and practices cannot be introduced in schools registered under the Karnataka Education Act.
As states are considering including Hindu scriptures in their school curriculums, the Central Board of Secondary Education excluded excerpts of two poems of Pakistani Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz from the Class 10 Social Science textbook in the 2022-’23 curriculum.
The announcement on the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita comes in the backdrop of a debate on whether religion should be kept out of schools, in the context of the hijab ban in Karnataka.
A section of Hindutva activists who protested against hijabs in educational institutions had claimed to oppose religious symbols in schools and colleges.