NCERT Modules Combine Mythology and Science in Chandrayaan Series, Attributes Success to PM Modi

NCERT Modules Combine Mythology and Science in Chandrayaan Series, Attributes Success to PM Modi

Last Updated Oct - 20 - 2023, 07:17 PM | Source : The Wire | Visitors : 28

The National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) has released special reading modules on the Chandrayaan mission.
NCERT Modules Combine Mythology and Science in Chandrayaan Series, Attributes Success to PM Modi

The Chandrayaan special supplementary reading modules, published by the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT), blend mythology and space science while attributing the mission's accomplishment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“You know, due to the unsuccessful landing of Chandrayaan-2 on the Moon, the morale of all scientists shook, they were very sad. The Prime Minister of our country, Shri Narendra Modi, boosted the courage of our scientists and asked them to try once more. All scientists together tried and improved their work by learning from past experience so that the ‘lander’ could successfully land on the lunar surface by the launcher,” read an interactive module for nursery and Class I and II children, according to The Telegraph.

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The module includes images of Modi watching the launch live and interacting with scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) headquarters in Bengaluru, as well as the Chandrayaan-3 on the moon's surface.

On Monday, October 17, at a ceremony in Delhi, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan unveiled the unique reading materials on the Chandrayaan expedition in the presence of ISRO Chairman S.P. Somanath.

One of the modules confers praise on Modi, saying, "The leadership of Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi played a crucial role in the triumph of Chandrayaan-3 and landed our country's name on the surface of the moon."

According to several space specialists who talked to the Telegraph, the phrase is problematic because it conveys the idea that the Chandrayaan-3 mission was only feasible due to Modi. They claim that this contradicts the ISRO's history of recovering from failures.

A space expert recounting ISRO's past mentioned that although the agency's first effort at launching a satellite in 1979 was not successful, it was successful the following year. In a similar vein, ISRO successfully launched the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle in 1988 following its failure in 1987. Later, in 1994, it was launched with success.

The same thing happened with ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, which failed in 1993 but was successfully launched in the next attempt in a year in 1994.

“After every failure, ISRO never gave up. However, the text in the NCERT module creates the impression that Chandrayaan-3 was launched only after the Prime Minister asked the scientists to try once more. This may not be matching Isro’s track record,” the space expert said.

In another module, meant for middle school children, one can see mythology mixed up with space science. “Did scientific achievement happen only now?… Literature tells us that it can be traced back through Vymaanika Shastra: ‘Science of Aeronautics’, which reveals that our country had the knowledge of flying vehicles in those days,” the module says.

It also goes on to say, “The Vedas, the oldest of Indian texts, makes a mention of various gods being transported on wheeled chariots pulled by animals, usually horses, but these chariots could also fly.”

The module also makes a reference to Pushpak Vimaan, a floating chariot mentioned in the Ramayana. “It was created by Vishwakarma, the chief architect of gods, out of the dust from the Sun for Brahma. Brahma gave it to Kuber. When Ravana took over Lanka from Kuber, it was used by Ravana as his personal vehicle.”

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