New Delhi: “Bharat” and “India” will be used interchangeably in NCERT textbooks, aligning with the terminology used in the country’s Constitution, National Council of Educational Research and Training Director Dinesh Prasad Saklani said. These comments are significant in light of a high-level panel’s recommendation that “India” should be replaced with “Bharat” in school textbooks for all classes.

The NCERT chief told PTI that both the words will be used in the books and the council has no aversion to either “Bharat” or “India”.

“It is interchangeable….our position is what our Constitution says and we uphold that. We can use Bharat, we can use India, what is the problem? We are not in that debate. Wherever it suits we will use India, wherever it suits we will use Bharat. We have no aversion to either India or Bharat,” he said.

“You can see both being used in our textbooks already and that will continue in new textbooks. This is a useless debate,” Saklani said.

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A high-level committee for social sciences, constituted by the NCERT to revise the school curriculum, recommended last year that “India” be replaced with “Bharat” in textbooks for all classes.

Committee chairperson C I Isaac stated that they suggested this change to reflect the age-old name “Bharat,” which appears in ancient texts such as the Vishnu Purana, believed to be 7,000 years old. The committee also proposed replacing “ancient history” with “classical history” and incorporating the Indian Knowledge System (IKS) into the syllabus across all subjects.

“The committee has unanimously recommended that the name Bharat should be used in textbooks for students across classes,” Isaac told PTI.

However, the NCERT clarified that no decision has been made regarding the panel’s recommendations.

The name “Bharat” gained official recognition last year when the government issued G20 invites referring to the “President of Bharat” instead of “President of India.” Additionally, during the G20 summit in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nameplate also read “Bharat” instead of “India.”

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