HC rejects plea challenging circular on NCERT books

HC rejects plea challenging circular on NCERT books
Photo: ANI

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea challenging the Delhi government’s decision instructing schools to prescribe only NCERT, SCERT and CBSE books.

Justice C. Hari Shankar rejected the plea filed by Federation of Educational Publishers in India challenging Delhi government’s circular instructed schools to prescribe only NCERT, SCERT and CBSE books.

“It does appear piquant that the torch-bearers, for the supposed interests of the students, in this case, are neither the students, nor their parents, nor even the schools who would be required to comply with the impugned circular, but an association of private publishers of textbooks,” the court said.

“The challenge to the impugned stipulation, in the circular dated November 29, 2018 is, therefore, repelled,” the court said.

“This court endorses the mandate, reflected in the said stipulation, to the effect that, in respect of subjects, for which textbooks have been prescribed by the CBSE, and published by the NCERT/SCERT/CBSE, the said prescription shall scrupulously be followed by all schools subject to the control of the Directorate of Education (DoE),” the court said.

“The syllabi and textbooks, prescribed by the CBSE, shall constitute the basis of imparting of education, as well as evaluation, of all schools students, from Classes I to X.”

On November 29, 2018, the Directorate of Education, Delhi Government issued a circular primarily addressing the concern of school children, in primary and secondary schools, having to carry school bags which were excessively heavy, thereby causing detriment to their health and wellbeing.

The circular stipulated maximum weight of school bags to be carried by children in various classes from Class I to Class X. It also directed to follow the textbooks prescribed by the State Council of Educational Research & Training (SCERT), the National Council for Educational Research & Training (NCERT) and the Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE).

The petitioner Federation of Educational Publishers in India said that circular was “arbitrary” and without any “scientific study”.