Education Minister of Karnataka Announces Meditation in Schools
Education Minister B C Nagesh has announced that the government will implement meditation in schools. This will reduce stress levels, help students concentrate better and improve their overall health.
The Union Education Minister slammed the Karnataka government for scrapping the National Education Policy (NEP). He said that the decision was politically motivated.
As a minister, BC Nagesh is not new to controversy. From enforcing a ban on hijab in educational institutions that come under his ministry to supporting the controversial revision of school textbooks, he has often found himself in the firing line.
The minister is a well-known face in the state for his controversial decisions. He was the face of the government when it enforced the hijab ban in schools, and was the main force behind the saffronisation of the school syllabus. He was also responsible for introducing changes to the education policy that were met with criticism from the opposition and Kannada organisations.
In the 2023 assembly elections, Nagesh was defeated by Congress’ K Shadakshari in Tumkur’s Tiptur constituency. Nagesh had previously won the seat in 2008 and 2018.
Siddaramaiah’s private home front
There have been only two Chief Ministers in Karnataka’s history who have served for a second term. Siddaramaiah is now among them.
Siddaramaiah, a member of the Kuruba community, has a massive following among backward classes. He positioned himself as an avowed champion of minorities, backward classes and Dalits.
In his public meetings, he sounded like a man who had won battles for the underdog. This is one of the reasons why he has been able to gather so many followers.
Siddaramaiah is a hard worker and has a reputation for being tough on issues like corruption. But he is also an excellent orator. His speeches are always well-received, and leaders take note of his views. He is not afraid to speak his mind, even if it offends people. He was a part of the JD(S)-led government that came to power in 2005, but he later left the party in 2006 accusing former PM Deve Gowda of favouring his family members in politics.
National Education Policy (NEP) scrapped
Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has slammed Karnataka’s Congress government for scrapping the National Education Policy (NEP). He said deleting things like the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and the role of RSS in it, parts of Mughal rule and empire in India, Indian freedom struggle and communal riots from school textbooks is not healthy.
He alleged that the Congress government wants to ‘play with children’s futures’ by introducing a new system of education in the state. He added that the NEP was introduced by BJP because it wanted to implement their ideology in education.
The NEP allows students to pursue their studies in their mother tongue and provides for flexible learning, he added. He further questioned why the Congress is against a system that enables students to become global citizens. He asked how a child from a village can become a doctor or engineer when the Congress aims to put a lock on NEP. He said such a decision is anti-Kannada and regressive.
Revision of school textbooks
As the state education minister, Madhu Bangarappa has been tasked with fulfilling one of Congress’s key poll promises—undoing changes made to school textbooks by the previous BJP government. The primary and secondary education department is preparing a proposal on the changes and will soon put it before the Cabinet seeking its consent, Bangarappa said.
There has been a lot of criticism over the revisions. Critics allege that the BJP government is politicising students’ books by presenting them with a skewed history of India. They also say that the removal of chapters on the diversity of organisms and evolution in Class 9 and 10 textbooks is an attempt to banish the concept of evolution.
Another controversial change is the omission of chapters on freedom fighters, social reformers and the works of writers like P Lankesh and Sara Aboobacker from Kannada school textbooks. The omissions are seen as an assault on the ethos of Kannada literature. A number of writers have withdrawn their permission to use their work in the school text books.