The Delhi government on Wednesday announced the introduction of a “deshbhakti [patriotism] curriculum” in state-run schools from the next academic session. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called the curriculum the “biggest gift to the nation” on the 73rd Independence Day. Assembly elections are due in Delhi early next year.

Kejriwal said the curriculum would inculcate in students love for the country and make them aware of their responsibilities. “Ordinarily we are reminded of our love for the country either when there is an India-Pakistan match or when there is tensions on the border,” Kejriwal said while announcing the curriculum. “In our day-to-day lives we forget about our country. The ‘Deshbhakti’ curriculum is being introduced so that each and every citizen of this country truly loves their country.”

Kejriwal listed three aims of the curriculum: each and every child must feel proud of the nation, making children aware of their responsibility and duty towards the country, and instil a feeling of passion to sacrifice anything for the nation.

Kejriwal said children must be taught that the country’s problems will be solved by all. “We have to create a sense of ownership among all children that they have to take on the challenges we are facing as a country head on and address them,” he added.

The chief minister said the curriculum will make them better citizens, and teach them to respect guests who come to our country. “We have to love our country to the extent that we respect it and respect our guests,” the chief minister added.

Kejriwal said the decision was taken at a meeting on Tuesday between him and Education Minister Manish Sisodia, who is also the deputy chief minister.

Sisodia said teachers and principals of Delhi government schools will design the curriculum. “I have directed the department to form a cell to drive this and take inputs from people across the country,” he said.

Last year, the Delhi government had launched a “happiness curriculum” in state-run schools. The curriculum involves a “happiness period” of 45 minutes and five minutes of meditation before each class.