Publish physical education book: CBSE to NCERT

In the wake of the controversy over a book on physical education, brought out by a private publisher, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has requested National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to come up with a book on the subject which is part of the school curriculum.

Till now there has been no NCERT or CBSE books on physical education. A Class XII textbook "Health and Physical Education" by a private publisher triggered an uproar last month for defining the perfect female body in the "36-24-36" shape while the revised edition said that the "hourglass shape of females is considered the best".

While CBSE has clarified that it does not recommend any book by private publishers, the schools claim that since there are no books on physical education by either NCERT or CBSE, they are left with no option.

HRD minister Prakash Javadekar had termed the content sexist and said action would be taken. On April 15, CBSE filed an FIR against the publisher - New Saraswati House (Pvt) Ltd. The board also said its bye-laws state that if a school decides to use a book by a private publisher, it must be scrutinised to preclude any objectionable content. A written declaration must also be put on school website signed by the manager and principal that the responsibility lies on them for suggesting such a book, the Board said.

But the authorities in various schools feel they cannot be held responsible on this count as there is no "official" book on physical education and "we are at the mercy of the books available in the market which are only by private publishers."

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