The Karnataka Department of Public Instruction on Monday deleted chapters on 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan and some sections on the Indian Constitution from the social science curriculum of Classes 1 to 10 for the academic year 2020-’21, The Hindu reported. The revisions were made as part of the government’s decision to reduce syllabus by 30% in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new schedule, uploaded on the Karnataka Textbook Society website, assumes that schools in the state will open on September 1. The syllabus has been reduced to fit into 120 working days.

A chapter in the Class 7 social science book that covers rulers Tipu Sultan and Haider Ali, historical sites in Mysuru, and the administration of commissioners was dropped. The textbook committee said the chapters were limited as the units do not require separate classes and that they “can be introduced through assignments” and presentations. While Deccan Herald reported that chapters covering Tipu Sultan were retained in the Class 6, Class 7, and Class 10 books, according to The Hindu, it was removed from the Class 10 syllabus too.

Units covering Sultan, Ali, the rebellion of Halagali Bedas and the rebellion of Kittur Chenamma-Rayanna for Class 10 students have been truncated and will now be taught “through project and chart preparation”.

Besides this, “entire lessons” on Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad were removed from the Class 7 curriculum. The state government said this was done as “pupils will study the same in Class 9”. Chapters on the Drafting Committee of the Constitution and salient features of the Constitution have also been dropped from the Class 7 curriculum for the same reason.

Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in Karnataka have repeatedly demanded that sections on Tipu Sultan be removed from school textbooks. However, in December 2019, a state government-appointed committee suggested retaining these sections. “It is impossible to teach the history of Mysore without the introduction to Tipu,” the panel said, according to The Wire.

After forming the government last year, the BS Yediyurappa-led government had announced that it would discontinue Tipu Jayanti celebrations in the state, which had been taking place under the rule of the Congress government and later the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) dispensation.

Managing Director of Karnataka Textbook Society Made Gowda told The Hindu that the decision to remove the lessons was made after discussions with members of the textbook committee, subject experts, teachers and Department of State Educational Research and Training officials.

“The revised syllabus has been sent to the Department of Public Instruction and the education minister has received the proposals,” Gowda told The Times of India.

Meanwhile, unidentified officials from the textbook committee told The Deccan Herald that the decision was made “to condense the chapters” and get rid of repetitions. “Trimming does not mean we have removed half of the syllabus from textbooks,” an official said. “It is only keeping in mind the repetition we have condensed the chapters. In case students study about a particular dynasty in higher grades, then the same had been removed from lower grades.”

Earlier this month, the Central Board of Secondary Education had deleted chapters on federalism, citizenship, nationalism, and secularism from the political science curriculum of Class 11 for the academic year 2020-’21. The board also cited the need to rationalise the syllabus amid the coronavirus pandemic. The political science curriculum for Class 10 students was also restructured to remove chapters on democracy and diversity; gender, religion and caste; popular struggles and movement, among other sections.