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’Mumbai is an island, Amritsar is in Pak’

Thursday 16 June 2005, by SESHAGIRI*Mathang

BANGALORE: Here is a geographical update! Bangalore is now a coastal city bordering the Arabian Sea; Amritsar has become part of Pakistan; Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram are islands floating in the Arabian Sea and the Lakshadweep Islands have been replaced by Cochin!

This is not a tsunami effect. If some cities have plunged into the Arabian Sea, it is all thanks to a map in the textbook. This map (page 138),which has ?moved’ these cities in all directions, can be found in the 2005 edition of Class 10 Social Science textbook distributed to government schools under the free textbook scheme.

Another map in the chapter on Modern World (page 46) follows a ?two-language policy’: while names of Kazakhstan and Russian Union are in English, the rest are in Kannada! Those who got the 2004 edition aren’t lucky either. Though the geographical boundaries are intact, history is, well, history for these students.

All six maps - from foreign colonies in India...

... to the first war of Indian Independence - are illegible. The map showing India at the time of 1857 does not have boundaries at all! What do students do?

They are expected to look into the 28-page errata brought out by the department of printing, stationery and publications which printed these textbooks.

The errata lists howlers in different textbooks from Class 1 to 10. But the schools are yet to receive this booklet. However, The Times of India managed to get a copy.

The errors were spotted after the textbooks were printed, so we have compiled a list of errors with correct maps which will be sent to all schools. The errors, I’m told, are not because of printing, but occurred while the textbooks were being drafted,’’ T.M. Vijaya Bhaskar, principal secretary, primary and secondary education, said.

The government has also decided to give the entire print order of free textbooks to government printing press for 2006-’07. This is for the second year in a row that lakhs of students in Karnataka’s government schools are being taught geographical blunders.

Last year, Class 7 Social Science textbook (Marathi medium) had a map which showed China as part of India and Pakistan, an island in Arabian Sea. Following a TOI report, the errors have been set right this year. ?Bennett, Coleman and Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

See online : The Times of India

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