New Delhi: HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday rejected allegations that her ministry was trying to push books written by Hindutva ideologues, saying it will abide by "constitutional modalities" before taking any step. Emphasising on a new education policy for the country, she said deliberations will begin from next year on the issue and a "review" will be carried out for efficient implementation of the Right to Education and Sarva Siksha Abhiyan programme.
She also said that a recently submitted report, which examined the no-detention policy in classes, will be taken up for deliberation at the next meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education. Replying to a volley of question while presenting her ministry's 100 days work, Irani expressed concern over incidents of ragging and said messages have been sent to all schools to take strong actions against those found involved.
To a question on whether her ministry would be introducing books written by RSS ideologue Dinanath Batra and which are taught in classes in Gujarat, she said these were mere reports coming in sections of media. "You are trying to create a controversy based on reports in media. I had said in Parliament that whatever step we take, whether in school education or higher education, they will be taken within constitutional modalities and responsibilities." Batra is reported to have sent proposals to Irani after she assumed office, demanding revamp of school curriculum inculcating 'values and nationalism' in students. Some of his books have also been translated into Gujarati to be part of the state's school curriculum.
He had also courted controversy for having American scholar Wendy Doniger's book pulped on grounds that it insulted Hindus. Laying stress on girls education, Irani said her government was committed to provide friendly environment in schools for them and said steps are being taken to realize Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of having girls toilets in schools by July next year.