Over 1800 scientists, educators, and science enthusiasts in India have voiced their opposition to the National Council of Educational Research and Training’s (NCERT) decision to remove Darwin’s theory of evolution from science textbooks for classes 9 and 10.
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
- NCERT claimed that the removal was part of its syllabus rationalisation effort in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- However, the scientific community has criticised the move, stating that it will impede students’ critical thinking abilities and is a disservice to education.
- This is not the first time that important scientific or historical information has been removed from curricula, raising concerns and objections from various stakeholders.
About Charles Darwin
- Born – On 12 February, 1809 in Shrewsbury, England
- Death – 19 April 1882
- Charles Darwin was a 19th century English naturalist, geologist and biologist who is best known for his theory of evolution and his book “On the Origin of Species” which was published in 1859.
- Charles Darwin is known as the “Father of Evolution” because he was a major figure in developing the theory of evolution.
- This theory challenged previous beliefs that the creation of different species was due to supernatural forces.
- Instead, Darwin’s theory of natural selection explained how new species evolved from a common ancestor through adaptations to changing environments.
- Essentially, it holds that survival of the fittest and best adapted leads to the development of new species.
- He proposed that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce.
- His theory revolutionised the field of biology and had a profound impact on our understanding of the natural world.
Theory of Evolution
- Darwin’s theory of evolution was not the first theory proposed to explain the diversity of life on Earth, but it was the first to be backed up by a large amount of evidence and to gain widespread acceptance among scientists.
- Darwin’s theory of evolution was controversial in his time and faced opposition from religious leaders and others who believed that it contradicted the biblical account of creation.
- Darwin’s theory of evolution is based on the idea of natural selection, which explains how species change over time to adapt to their environment.
- Darwin believed that all species of living things have evolved over time from common ancestors through a process called descent with modification.
- According to Darwin, the driving force behind evolution is natural selection, which is the process by which organisms with certain traits are more likely to survive and reproduce than those without those traits.
- Natural selection occurs because organisms within a population vary in their traits, and those with traits that are better suited to their environment are more likely to survive and pass those traits on to their offspring.
- Over time, natural selection can lead to the development of new species that are better adapted to their environment than their ancestors.
- Darwin’s theory of evolution was supported by evidence from various fields, including comparative anatomy, embryology, and biogeography, and is widely accepted by the scientific community today.
- Darwin’s theory of evolution is often referred to as the Theory of Natural Selection or the Darwinian theory.
- Darwin’s theory revolutionised the study of biology and had a profound impact on fields like genetics, anthropology, and psychology.
Previous Removal of Topics by NCERT
- In the past, historians had raised objections to the removal of significant events such as the Mughal rule and the Gujarat Riots of 2002 from history textbooks.
- Recently, a group of historians issued an open statement criticising the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for removing certain chapters or sections from textbooks.
- They argued that this deprived students of valuable content and undermined the pedagogical values necessary to prepare them for current and future challenges.
- In response, NCERT defended the “minor removals” in the curriculum and clarified that these deletions were not included in the official list of deletions announced last year to avoid confusion among teachers and students.
- The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Education.
- NCERT was established in 1961 with the aim of improving the quality of school education in India by developing and publishing textbooks, educational materials, and conducting research in education.
- NCERT textbooks are widely used in schools across India, and the organisation is responsible for setting the curriculum for all CBSE-affiliated schools in the country.
- NCERT also conducts various training programs for teachers, teacher educators, and educational administrators to enhance their professional development.
- The organisation has its headquarters in New Delhi and several regional offices across the country.
- In addition to publishing textbooks, NCERT also produces a range of educational materials, including journals, newsletters, and multimedia resources, for the benefit of students and teachers.
- NCERT is committed to promoting inclusive and equitable education, and its materials are available in various languages to cater to the diverse linguistic and cultural needs of students across the country.
- NCERT has also been actively involved in the development of the National Curriculum Framework, which provides guidelines for the design and implementation of school curricula in India.