Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday announced the constitution of a 6-member Oversight Committee, headed by eminent historian Prof. Kirpal Singh, to examine the recommendations of the 2014 panel that had reviewed the History syllabus and to oversee all history books in the future.The Chief Minister, while lashing out at the Opposition for unnecessarily politicising the issue, said his government had decided to prevent any such politicisation of history books by setting up a permanent committee to oversee the process of formulating the syllabus and ensuring error-free books on the subject.Dismissing as politically motivated the controversy on the issue, the Chief Minister said the decision to review the syllabus and print books in alignment with the NCERT syllabus was taken during the SAD-BJP rule back in 2014. In fact, there were no History books earlier and what SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal was citing was merely a guide, said Captain Amarinder at a press conference here.The Chief Minister once again asserted that there had been no deletion of syllabus relating to the Sikh Gurus, and the entire history of the Gurus, starting from Baba Banda Bahadur, had been incorporated in chronological order in Class XI and XII syllabus.
Later, an official spokesperson gave details of the committee announced by the Chief Minister. Besides Prof. Kirpal Singh, the committee shall comprise former Vice Chancellor Guru Nanak Dev University Prof. J.S. Grewal, former Pro-Vice Chancellor GNDU Prof. Prithipal Singh Kapur, Emeritus Prof. of History Panjab University Prof. Indu Banga, besides two eminent historians to be nominated by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee.The committee has been mandated to consider and report on the recommendations of the Expert Group constituted by the Punjab School Education Board in 2014, to review the changes made in the new History syllabus prescribed for classes XI and XII subsequent to the recommendations of the Expert Group, and to suggest corrections, if any. The Committee has been further asked to examine the contents of the text books prescribed for classes XI and XII and to suggest corrections for factual and other errors, if any, and to align, as may be practicably possible, the History syllabus with that prescribed by the NCERT.Apart from these, the committee has also been directed to exercise oversight over the syllabus and contents of textbooks prescribed for History for all classes in the Punjab School Education Board and to ensure that there are no factual discrepancies.