NCERT Textbooks Likely to Feature India's Research on Arctic, Antarctic, Himalayas

NCERT Textbooks Likely to Feature India's Research on Arctic, Antarctic, Himalayas

Last Updated May - 11 - 2024, 01:55 PM | Source : India Today | Visitors : 15

"The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences has approached the NCERT to incorporate recent research findings on India's activities in the Arctic, Antarctic, and Himal
NCERT Textbooks Likely to Feature India's Research on Arctic, Antarctic, Himalayas

The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences has contacted the NCERT to request that the most recent research results of India's advancements in the Arctic, Antarctic, and Himalayan regions be incorporated into school textbooks.

M Ravichandran, Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, mentioned that the NCERT has formed a committee to highlight the significance of research in these areas in school textbooks. "We wrote to them... they have recently formed a committee to emphasize the importance of the Antarctica expedition, the Arctic, the Himalayas, and other aspects, including climate change. They are working on it," Ravichandran stated during an interaction with PTI editors.

While the Antarctica expedition is mentioned in NCERT textbooks, the content has not been updated for a considerable period. There is also limited information on the ongoing research in the Arctic and Himalayan regions.

In a post-COVID-19 rationalisation exercise, the NCERT removed topics such as climate change, monsoons, and the greenhouse effect from textbooks, sparking controversy. However, the council later clarified that these subjects were omitted to reduce the curriculum load due to the pandemic and assured that they would be reinstated with the release of books based on the new curriculum framework.

These books are currently under development and are expected to be available for all classes by 2026.

The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences is hosting the 46th meeting of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM), the highest governing body for Antarctica, and the 26th meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP). These crucial meetings will take place in Kochi from May 20 to May 30, where countries involved in research in the southern polar region will share the outcomes of their scientific endeavours and future plans.

India currently operates two active research stations, Maitri and Bharti, in Antarctica. The first research station, Dakshin Gangotri, established in 1983, had to be abandoned after it sank in the snow.

Thamban Meloth, director of the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), noted that several students involved in the research have visited Antarctica in recent years. "We have not taken any high school students so far, but several senior students involved in the research have been to Antarctica," he stated.

Regarding the possibility of introducing a program similar to Students on Ice for Indian school students, Meloth explained, "It is not logistically feasible. It costs around Rs 1 crore to send a single person to Antarctica... there are a lot of other logistical issues too when it comes to high school students."

The Students on Ice programme, led by Canadian educator and environmentalist Geoff Green, enables high school students from around the world, accompanied by educators and scientists, to travel to Antarctica and the Arctic.


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