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Sonia Gandhi writes to Assam CM on NCERT syllabus
Friday December 5, 2014 9:27 PM, IANS

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has directed the Assam government to be ready to make representations to the centre to ensure that changes in the NCERT syllabus on the history and culture of the northeast are meaningful if the central government decides to update it as recommended by a committee.

In a letter to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi recently, Gandhi said if the central government does not act on the M.P. Bezbaruah Committee recommendations, the Congress-governed states in the region should do whatever is possible to implement them.

She said the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) syllabus needs to be amended as per the recommendations of the committee, set up by the erstwhile central government led by the Congress in February 2014, to make students more sensitive to the history and culture of the northeast.

"In the light of what we see to be widespread prejudice and ignorance, which tragically manifests itself in Delhi and elsewhere through violence and discrimination against people of northeastern origin, I believe that there is an urgent need to make people around the country more familiar with the culture, society and history of these areas," she said.

The committee was instituted after the killing of Nido Tania, a student from Arunachal Pradesh, in Delhi in February this year. The 11-member committee conducted a study into the problems faced by people from the northeast and recommended measures to reduce conflicts.

Besides, the committee suggested that NCERT should introduce certain aspects of the "northeast ethos" into its curriculum to "integrate each aspect of the northeast into the consciousness of the people outside".

In reply, Gogoi said his government would take prompt steps to introduce necessary changes in the existing syllabus in the state.

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