The National Council for Educational Research and Training on Friday said that there was no question of withdrawing any individual’s name as a member of a textbook development committee.

It made the statement a day after academician Suhas Palshikar and political scientist Yogendra Yadav urged it to drop their names as chief advisors of political science textbooks, saying that the texts had been “mutilated beyond recognition”.

The NCERT on Friday said that textbook development committees were “purely academic in nature” and only existed till the textbooks were developed. It said that after the books were published, the copyright for them remained vested with the NCERT.

The academic body said that the role of textbook development committee members was limited to contributing to the content and giving advice on the design and development of the books.

“Texbooks at the school level are ‘developed’ based on the state of our knowledge and understanding on a given subject,” it said. “Therefore, at no stage, individual authorship is claimed, hence the withdrawal of association by anyone is out of question.”

The NCERT added: “The terms of the textbook development committee have ended since the date of their first publication. However, the NCERT acknowledges their academic contribution and only because of this, for the sake of record, publishes the names of all textbook development committee members in each of its textbooks.”

Palshikar and Yadav, who is the founder of the Swaraj Abhiyan political party, wanted their names to be removed as chief advisers of political science textbooks for Classes 9 to 12 after the NCERT either deleted or watered down important details of India’s history.

Among the texts dropped by the NCERT were paragraphs on attempts by Hindu extremists to assassinate Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and the ban imposed on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh after his killing.

Last year, the NCERT also dropped content related to the 2002 Gujarat riots, the Mughal rule in India and the nationwide Emergency imposed in 1975. No NCERT textbook now has any reference to the Gujarat riots.

Palshikar and Yadav in a letter to NCERT Director Dinesh Saklani wrote that they were not consulted or informed about the changes. “The frequent and serial deletions do not seem to have any logic except to please the powers that be,” they said.

The academician and the political scientist said that they are “embarrassed” that their names are mentioned as chief advisors to the “mutilated and academically dysfunctional textbooks”.

The letter continued, “Textbooks cannot and should not be shaped in this blatantly partisan manner and should not quell the spirit of critique and questioning among students of social sciences. These textbooks as they stand now do not serve the purpose of training students of political science both the principles of politics and the broad patterns of political dynamics that have occurred over time.”