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IGNOU's Objectionable MA Course Put On Hold

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 25 (UNI) An elective course offered by Indira Gandhi National Open University as part of History MA programme has been put on hold while authorities remove ''objectionable'' contents, Parliament was told today.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh identified the course as Religious thoughts and Beliefs in India.

Singh told the House that IGNOU conceived the Programme in 2000 and in April 2001 its School Board approved course structures for Ancient and Medieval Society and Religious Thoughts and Beliefs in India.

IGNOU's Academic Council approved the syllabi of the two courses in September 2001, the HRD Minister said.

While approving a detailed programme report of the eight-credit optional course on Religious Thoughts and Beliefs in India, it stressed taking care of different perspectives of History and ideological conflicts, Singh said.

Course writers appointed in September 2001 prepared the manuscript of the study material, he said.

The English version-- Religious Traditions and Philosophy of Bhakti-- was printed in October 2003 and sent to students in August-September 2004 for the first time, the House was told.

The Hindi version-- Darmik Paramparayen aur Bhakti Darshan-- was printed in 2004-05 and sent to students in August-September 2005, the Minister said.

''Some objectionable portions came to notice in the study material of Module-3-- Religious Traditions and Philosophy of Bhakti in English and Darmik Paramparayen aur Bhakti Darshan in Hindi-- of an elective course-- Religious thoughts and Beliefs in India-- in April 2006,'' the Minister said.

He said IGNOU then decided to edit and amend such portions and constitute an Expert Committee to review the entire course and make or suggest or modifications.

It decided to discontinue the course for future candidates ''till it is reviewed and finalised by the Committee.'' IGNOU has written to students who have cleared the course or are currently enrolled asking them to ignore the earlier version and wait for the corrected material for record and study, he said.

Singh said IGNOU will act on receipt of Expert recommendations.


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