From the coming academic year, Class 11 and 12 students of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will learn subjects such as Ayurveda, Indian architecture and philosophy, so “they get to know more about Indian culture”.
The subjects will be part of a new elective – Knowledge, Traditions and Practices of India – that will combine various disciplines such as mathematics, chemistry, fine arts, agriculture, trade and commerce, astronomy, surgery, environment, life sciences and will be offered in Hindi and English.
Experts, however, see it as the board’s way to “focus on nationalism”.
Last month, it announced students extra marks for those attending Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations.
“Over the past couple of years, the board has tried various ways to instil patriotism among students,” said Avnita Bir, principal, RN Podar School, Santacruz. “I don’t think an academic body should promote any particular ideology.”
Earlier, the board asked schools to mark anniversaries of leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, former prime minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Hindu Mahasabha leader Madan Mohan Dalmiya and got students to learn more about RSS ideologue and Bharatiya Jan Sangh leader Deendayal Upadhyaya.
School principals said usually there are not many takers for such electives. “Students want the electives to be skill- or joboriented,” said Raj Aloni, principal, Ram Sheth Thakur Public School, Kharghar.