For the government schools’ students in Rajasthan, the desirable physical attributes of an entrepreneur includes “good height” and “beautiful complexion” among others, as their new textbooks mentioned it. The state’s latest curriculum change for secondary and senior secondary classes in these schools include a chapter in a Class 12 textbook that lists the “physical attributes” desirable in an entrepreneur. It clearly mentions “Uttam swasthya, prabhavshali vyaktitva, acchi unchai, sundar rang, shaleenta, gambhirta (perfect health, impressive personality, good height, beautiful complexion, sobriety, seriousness)” to be present in a person who wants to initiate a business, reports The Indian Express. The textbooks, however, mainly emphasizes the key central and state government schemes highlighting initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia.
Samajopayogi Yojanayein (Socially-relevant Schemes) is a four-part series of textbooks for classes 9 to 12, comprising four chapters each on central schemes like Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana along with state government flagships like Mukhyamantri Jal Swavalamban Yojana and Bhamashah Yojana. The books also contain chapters on the PM ambitious Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India campaign) and instruct students to “internalise each word” of his Swacch Bharat pledge.
Budget announcements, portions on the Make in India initiative and the Resurgent Rajasthan investment summit highlighting initiatives of the PM and the state CM, make another substantial part of the textbooks prepared by a seven-member team of government school teachers. Besides, waste management, sustainable development, financial inclusion, water conservation, the revival of traditional water structures and empowerment of women are other things included in the textbooks.
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However, the move has surprised those who are associated with education sector in the state. Asked about the syllabus of the textbooks, Komal Srivastava of the Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, a voluntary organisation engaged in promoting scientific education told IE that “this has never happened before in the history of the state.” She said earlier, there were small sections included in the syllabus on social schemes like MNREGA and RTI but it is a first time when entire textbooks has been dedicated to government schemes.
Meanwhile, the government has defended teh decision saying the changes were introduced as it was felt that existing school books had inadequate Rajasthani content.