Scientists object to NCERT’s decision to drop evolution theory from Class X syllabus

Over 1,800 scientists and educators signed an open letter saying that students will be seriously handicapped if they are not taught this fundamental discovery of science

NCERT, science, Class X, evolution
The NCERT also deleted the portions dwelling on ban imposed on the RSS after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination in 1948. The revision of the text books has triggered a row.

The NCERT’s decision to remove theory of biological evolution from the science syllabus in Class X curriculum of the CBSE has come under protest. Over 1,800 scientists, science teachers and educators have issued an open letter — ‘An Appeal Against Exclusion of Evolution from Curriculum’ – raising concern over NCERT’s decision to drop the evolution theory from Class X textbook.

According to a document by NCERT on the list of rationalised content in textbooks for class X, in Science subjects, Chapter 9, earlier titled ‘Heredity and Evolution’, has been replaced with ‘Heredity’.

Also read: ‘NCERT consulted external experts, teachers for syllabus rationalisation’

‘Travesty of education’

Understanding evolution is “crucial in building a scientific temper” and depriving students of this exposure is “travesty of education”, the scientific community feels, according to an Indian Express report.

The letter demanding that theory of Darwinian evolution be restored in secondary education has been issued by ‘Breakthrough Science Society’, a voluntary organisation committed to the cause of science, culture and scientific outlook. Among the signatories are scientists from institutions such as Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and IITs.

Worried scientific community

The scientific community is of the opinion that students will be seriously handicapped in their thought process if deprived of exposure to this fundamental discovery of science.

Also read: Tharoor calls removal of Maulana Azad references from NCERT textbook ‘a disgrace’

“Knowledge and understanding of evolutionary biology is important not just to any sub-field of biology, but is also key to understanding the world around us. Evolutionary biology is an area of science with a huge impact on how we choose to deal with an array of problems we face as societies and nations from medicine and drug discovery, epidemiology, ecology and environment, to psychology, and it also addresses our understanding of humans and their place in the tapestry of life. Although many of us do not explicitly realise, the principles of natural selection help us understand how any pandemic progresses or why certain species go extinct, among many other critical issues,” states the letter.