Union Tourism Secretary Pervez Dewan has asked the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to remove a line in the class 10 geography textbooks that tells that tourism has not been encouraged in the north-east and interior parts of the Himalayas for “strategic reasons”.
The Secretary has informed the petitioner Kavya Barnadhya Hazarika, a Class XI student at Maharishi Vidya Mandir Senior School, Guwahati, that he had requested NCERT to remove the “careless sentence”.
Kavya had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and twice petitioned the President’s Secretariat helpline since April, wanting to know what those “strategic reasons” were.
“There is vast potential of tourism development in the north-eastern States and the interior parts of Himalayas, but due to strategic reasons these have not been encouraged so far,” says a sentence on page 92 of Chapter 7 — whose theme is “Lifelines of National Economy” — of the book ‘Contemporary India Part II’ (January 2012).
Earlier, Kavya requested Mr. Dewan on Monday morning through e-mail to ask the NCERT authorities to remove the sentence. Mr. Dewan, in his first letter to Kavya while referring to the particular line, stated that despite the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and the State governments in the region, it was unfortunate that “a careless statement makes a sweeping statement that is totally inaccurate.”