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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : How to improve historical thinking      



Source: The Hindu

  • Prelims: Ahom, Indian History Congress (IHC), SCIM-C, ARCH
  • Mains GS Paper I: Modern Indian history from middle of eighteenth century until the present-significant events, personalities, issues etc



  • 400th birth anniversary celebration of Ahom Army General Lachit Borphukan, Union Home Minister said:
    • “I often hear that our history has been distorted. Maybe it’s true. But who has stopped us now from presenting a glorious history to the world?”




Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports: It presented the ‘Reforms in Content and Design of School Textbooks’ to both Houses of Parliament.

  • Objectives:
    • Removing references to unhistorical facts and distortions about our national heroes from textbooks
    • Ensuring equal or proportionate references to all periods of Indian history
    • Highlighting the role of great historic women heroes.
    • The report focused on the need for textbooks to promote national integration, unity and constitutional values.


  • Suggestions by Committee:
    • Improvement of engagement of children for learning
    • Content of the textbooks
    • Representation of women in history during the Indian freedom struggle
    • Changing the way women are traditionally represented in textbooks
    • Use of EdTech in content delivery
    • Promotion of scientific temper, innovation, communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.

Need for changes:

  • To remove un-historical facts and distortions about national heroes
  • To reduce the content load on students
  • To rationalize the content



  • Reforms’ are not emerging from any expert body of nationally and internationally recognised historians but from a political position favored by non-academic votaries of prejudice.
  • School textbooks written for the NCERT: They were actually removed, and in their place books with a clear sectarian, majoritarian bias were introduced in 2002.
  • Allowing students to comprehend caste as a system of injustice, the deletions seek to present an ideal society in which caste is only a marginal or slight distortion.
  • Rupture historical interpretations of the past: The deletions commit violence against the idea of history.


Important publications related to history:

  • The Enemies of Indianisation: The Children of Marx, Macaulay and Madrasa-by Dina Nath Batra
  • History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past- by Professor Gary Nash and his colleagues


Way Forward

  • An analysis of the history textbooks across education boards: It shows that the engagement in historical thinking is very low.
    • There are various frameworks that have developed strong historical thinking such as:
      • SCIM-C-Summarising, Contextualising, Inferring, Monitoring, and Corroborating
      • ARCH-Assessment Center for History
      • Historical Thinking Standards articulated by Gary Nash et al.
    • Students engaged in activities draw upon skills in five types of historical thinking:
      • chronological thinking
      • historical comprehension
      • historical analysis and interpretation
      • historical research capabilities
      • historical issues — analysis and decision-making.
    • Delhi Board of School Education agreement with the International Baccalaureate: To adopt the latter’s global curriculum framework in government schools.
      • Even the poorest aspire for the best possible education.



Q. Are tolerance, assimilation and pluralism the key elements in the making of an Indian form of secularism? Justify your answer.(UPSC 2022) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)