Union Tourism Secretary, Pervez Dewan has asked the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to do away with a sentence in the class 10 geography textbook that accrues a belittling remark on tourism status of the North-eastern Indian states.
“There is vast potential of tourism development in the north-eastern States and the interior parts of Himalayas, but due to “strategic reasons” these have not been encouraged so far,” says a sentence on page 92 of Chapter 7 — whose theme is “Lifelines of National Economy” — of the book ‘Contemporary India Part II’.
Kavya Barnadhya Hazarika, a Class XI student of the city’s Maharishi Vidya Mandir Senior School, first noticed it and wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the month of January this year and has been appealed twice to the President’s Secretariat helpline since April, seeking to know what those “strategic reasons” were. And now, he’s waiting to hear from Dr. Singh and Mr. Mukherjee.
Keeping in mind this delay in reply, Kavya next requested to Mr. Dewan through e-mail seeking the NCERT authorities to remove the sentence. Mr. Dewan expressed sad remarks on this, stated that it is unfortunate that despite the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and the State governments in the region, this careless statement is there in the textbook. He further provided details of various initiatives and expenditures made by the Tourism Ministry for the development of tourism in the region.
Mr. Dewan on Monday informed Kavya that he has requested NCERT to remove that “careless sentence” from the book.