A high-level committee for social sciences set up by the National Council of Educational Research and Training has recommended replacing “India” with “Bharat” in school textbooks, PTI reported on Wednesday.

Suggestions to replace “ancient history” with “classical history” in the curriculum and to include the “Indian Knowledge System” in the syllabus for all subjects have also been made, the committee’s Chairperson CI Isaac said.

“Bharat is an age-old name,” said Isaac. “The name Bharat has been used in ancient texts, such as Vishnu Purana, which is 7,000 years old.”

Isaac, who is also a member of the Indian Council of Historical Research, stated that the committee has also recommended highlighting “Hindu victories” in various battles. “Our failures are presently mentioned in the textbooks,” he said. “But our victories over the Mughals and sultans are not.”

Further, he said that textbooks currently do not have any mention of the post-independence history of India, The Indian Express reported. “So, we have suggested that historical events that took place from 1947 till now should also be introduced, and the number of hours allocated for pre-independence can be reduced,” Isaac said.

However, the National Council of Educational Research and Training said it is “too premature” to comment on any changes – particularly replacing “India” with “Bharat” in the textbooks – that may be made.

“...the development of new syllabus and textbooks is in the process and for that purpose various Curricular Area Groups of domain experts are being notified by the NCERT,” it said in a social media post.

The NCERT is currently aligning school textbooks with the National Education Policy. In August, it constituted a 19-member National Syllabus and Teaching Learning Material Committee to finalise the curriculum, textbooks and learning material.

A controversy was triggered in September after a dinner invitation from the president’s office sent to Group of 20 summit delegates described Droupadi Murmu as the “President of Bharat” instead of the usual “President of India”.

Later, the nameplate in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inaugural address of the two-day summit also said “Bharat”, not “India”.

Also read: A short history of ‘India’ versus ‘Bharat’