The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council has dropped lessons on former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s term, the Mandal Commission report and the 2002 Gujarat riots from the Class 12 curriculum, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. The decision was taken as part of a 30% reduction in syllabus due to the pandemic.

The portions dropped in political science were under “Politics in India since Independence”, which included the first three General Elections, Nehru’s approach to nation-building and his foreign policy. It also included anti-Sikh riots in 1984 along with the Ayodhya dispute and 2002 Gujarat riots.

The sections that were dropped were uploaded on the state education council’s website. The portions were selected after consultation with teachers and subject experts in Assam, according to an unidentified official.

Lessons related to the Congress party and its history along with the Kashmir conflict, wars with Pakistan and China, the period of Emergency, and the rise of the Janata Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party are among the other topics that remain in the curriculum.

The Class 12 history syllabus also no longer has lessons on “Kinship, Caste and Class”. A chapter, titled “Memories of Childhood” was also dropped, in which parts of autobiographical writings of two women, Native American writer Zitkala-sa and Tamil Dalit teacher Bama were studied.

The state education council Secretary Manoranjan Kakati said that the students had lost a lot of academic time due to the outbreak of Covid-19. “After the CBSE decided to reduce the volume of the course for class XI and XII, the AHSEC was seriously deliberating upon the issue,” she told the newspaper. “The main objective is to reduce the exam stress of the students of the session 2020-21, due to this pandemic situation and to prevent learning gaps.”

Kakati said that experts from several institutions had pitched in to help decide the curriculum, adding that meetings will be held in case complaints are made. The official noted that the council had in July asked for the views of educationists and the decision to reduce 30% of the syllabus was taken after a meeting on August 19.

The CBSE had on July 7 deleted chapters on federalism, citizenship, nationalism, and secularism from the Class 11 Political Science syllabus, and restructured the subject’s curriculum for Class 10 to remove chapters on democracy and diversity; gender, religion and caste, popular struggles and movement, among other sections. The deletions were made on the direction of the Ministry of Human Resource Development after it asked the CBSE to reduce the syllabus for Class 9 to Class 12 for the academic year 2020-’21 by up to 30% to make up for the academic loss caused by the pandemic.