New Delhi: The government has defended National Council of Educational Research and Training’s (NCERT’s) reference to mythology in its account of Chandrayaan-3 and the attribution of the mission’s success to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the supplementary reading material published last week.
The reading material that was launched in the presence of ISRO chief S. Somanath exhaustively quotes the prime minister and emphasises on the role of mythology while referring to India as Bharat in the text.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the government said that mythology provides ideas that lead to innovation and new knowledge.
“Numerous research studies emphasise that mythology plays an indispensable role in the cultural fabric of any country, including Bharat. Furthermore, the integration of culture into education not only fosters a profound understanding of a nation’s historical legacy but also bolsters creativity and problem-solving skills among students,” the statement issued through the the Press Information Bureau read.
The education ministry statement said, “Additionally, it is essential to emphasise the commitment of the Hon’ble Prime Minister towards space achievements. Recognising the Prime Minister’s unwavering support and encouragement to our scientists can inspire students and motivate them to take an interest in science and technology.”
The module for middle school students presents the success of the ISRO’s moon mission as a legacy of India’s traditional knowledge, the Telegraph reported.
“Did scientific achievement happen only now?… Literature tells us that it can be traced back through Vymaanika Shastra: ‘Science of Aeronautics’, which reveals that our country had the knowledge of flying vehicles in those days,” the NCERT text quoting the prime minister says.
According to space analysts who spoke to the paper, the text gives the impression that the mission was possible only because of Modi’s encouragement. The module also refers to the Vedas, flying chariots and Hindu gods.
The modules have come at a time when various government ministries have launched a drive to set up selfie points with images of Modi and text about his government’s achievements in the run-up to a slew of state polls and a general election, the report said.