Gujarat Class XI economics textbooks to feature Deendayal, Gandhi and Chanakya

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Ahmedabad | Published: May 3, 2016 10:17:54 AM

The curriculum for Class XI has been revised after more than a decade.

gujarat textbookThe curriculum for Class XI has been revised after more than a decade.

Higher secondary students of the Gujarat state board will study about Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, one of the founders of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh and an RSS pracharak, as part of economics from the coming year.

Under a revised curriculum, to come into force from academic session 2016-17, the Gujarat State Board of School Textbooks has introduced a chapter on ‘economic thought’ in Economics for Class XI commerce students, which will feature Upadhyaya apart from Chanakya and Mahatma Gandhi as “main economic thinkers”.

Students of both Gujarati- and English-medium private and government schools affiliated to the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) will have the chapter.

The curriculum for Class XI has been revised after more than a decade.

The 15-page chapter, number 11 in the book, not just talks in detail about the “main economic thoughts of Pandit Deendayal” but also details his appearance and other personal attributes.

The chapter opens with a brief mention of Indian epics “that reflect economic ideologies”, and cites Mahabharata’s Shanti Parv, Manusmriti, Shukra Niti and Kamandkiya nitisaar. It goes on to say, “In these economic thoughts, there is a close relation with religion, philosophy and ethics. Among these economic thoughts,Chanakya’s ‘Kautilya Economics’ is ahead of all. In India, there is a great influence of several economic thinkers since the monarchial regimes. Of all these, in this chapter we will introduce main economic thinkers like Kautilya (Chanakya), Gandhiji and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.”

In its introduction of the RSS pracharak, the chapter says, “(a person) who lived a simple life, with an easy personality, a gentleman with a distinct radiance in his eyes, an inspiration for economic thoughts, a personality with fundamental contemplation and inexhaustible thoughts is Pandit Deendayal”.

The chapter goes on to mention Upadhyaya’s philosophy of integral humanism, and talks about a decentralised economy, restrained consumption and labour-intensive production methodology.

The book also mentions various schemes launched by the state government based on Upadhyaya’s thoughts.

When asked about the chapter, Gujarat State Board of School Textbooks chairman Nitin Pethani said, “Revising a textbook is a long-drawn process. Though we chalk out the micro-level curriculum for senior secondary subjects, it is the GSHSEB that works out the macro level, what is to be included under each chapter. Also, the subject committees and subject teachers decide and approve the content in each textbook, based on suitability and relevance. The state education department gives the final nod.”

A member of the review committee, who is an economics expert, said, “The idea of including Pandit Deendayal in school textbooks has been there for some time now. The Education Department was waiting for the curriculum to be revised so that this could be incorporated at an appropriate time.”

The section on Mahatma Gandhi begins with a disclaimer: “Though Gandhiji’s thoughts which often have social management, political and economic references are termed as ‘Gandhivaad’, actually Gandhiji has never given any economic thought as an economist. He has never considered his thoughts to be suitable to be referred as a precise ‘ism’. To put it in his words, there is nothing like ‘Gandhism’ .

Chanakya is introduced as the “founder of ‘Kautilya’s Economics’, with the chapter saying, “Kautilya was such a strategist who had nurtured a dream of a complete nation… To end the misrule of the last of the Nand dynasty rulers, Raja Dhananand, he worked with Chandragupta Maurya to establish a prosperous kingdom based on sound principles of economics.” Further under his main economic thoughts are listed “establishment of janpad nation, rajkosh, tax policies, land tax, tax on import-export, agriculture and livestock breeding and industries”.

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