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'Forced To Prescribe NCERT & CISCE Approved Textbooks': Punjab And Haryana High Court Issues Notice On CBSE Affiliated Schools' Petition

Sparsh Upadhyay
10 May 2021 4:24 AM GMT
Forced To Prescribe NCERT & CISCE Approved Textbooks: Punjab And Haryana High Court Issues Notice On CBSE Affiliated Schools Petition
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice to the Punjab government over an application filed by the CBSE Affiliated Schools Association, submitted that they (along with other private unaided schools) are being forced to prescribe only NCERT and CISCE approved textbooks under the threat of withdrawal of recognition/NOC.Calling this decision 'totally illegal and high-handed',...

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice to the Punjab government over an application filed by the CBSE Affiliated Schools Association, submitted that they (along with other private unaided schools) are being forced to prescribe only NCERT and CISCE approved textbooks under the threat of withdrawal of recognition/NOC.

Calling this decision 'totally illegal and high-handed', the CBSE Affiliated Schools Association has contended that the Punjab State (Director Public Instructions) has no locus in the matter of prescription of textbooks and that the instructions of CBSE are to the contrary.

Noting the submission of the petition that the session is in progress and students are likely to suffer in case the threat of withdrawal of recognition/NOC is carried out, the Bench of Justice Sudhir Mittal issued notice to the Punjab Government and Director, Public Instructions.

The Bench issued notice for July 9, and directed,

"Meanwhile, no coercive steps shall be taken against members of the petitioner."

In related news, the Delhi High Court in 2019 had dismissed a challenge against stipulations in a circular issued Directorate of Education, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, to all the schools under it, to follow the textbooks prescribed by the SCERT, NCERT and CBSE.

While examining the contentions raised by the Federation Of Educational Publishers In India, the court noted that the impugned stipulations in the Circular merely requires schools to follow the textbooks prescribed by these statutory bodies, whose authority to prescribe the textbooks to be followed by the schools is conceded even by the petitioners.

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