Lucknow, May 23: The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved the introduction of NCERT textbooks in Madarasa board schools. In Tuesday’s meeting, the Cabinet approved textbooks in Urdu, Hindi and English languages. The state government had decided last year to introduce NCERT textbooks in all educational institutions.

The government had decided, in principle, to introduce NCERT books across madarsas in the state last year itself. Uttar Pradesh deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma had said the decision was taken in accordance with suggestions by the state Madrasa Board. He took to Twitter and said, “The students (at madrasa) will be taught about modern issues and they will compete with other schools in the same arena.”

Meanwhile, talking to ANI Sharma said, “There is no change in the new curriculum and syllabus in this regard. The Uttar Pradesh Madrasa board brought out a suggestion that along with their Urdu books they will also cover NCERT English books which are for different subjects. This suggestion came in Madarsa Board, the Board decided that NCERT books of Mathematics, Science in Urdu will be added. In this way, students will get a wider scope to learn mainstream subjects.”

Madarsas are minority educational institutions offering study in Islamic theology and religious law. Currently, there are about 19,000 recognised and 560 aided madarsas operating in the state. UP Shia Waqf Board Chairman Waseem Rizvi stoked controversy by claiming that madarsas promoted hardline sentiments towards Hindus and Shias, leading to communal violence. Earlier in January last year, the Adityanath Yogi government in Uttar Pradesh had made NCERT books mandatory for all schools affiliated to the Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad (UP Board) from academic session 2018-19.