Deletions in social science textbooks: History in the service of politics

A common refrain when talking of changes in curriculum is “reducing the content load on students”. The recent notification on the “rationalisation” of content in the textbooks by the NCERT begins with this assertion, adding that it is in keeping with the National Education Policy 2020, which also advocates creative experiential learning. We are told … Read more

A science teacher explains: The Big Bang Theory

Philosophers and scholars over centuries have devoted their time contemplating space to find answers to one of the most important questions of human existence – how did the universe evolve and come into being and what might be its future? Our understanding of the cosmos has significantly advanced over time, but every insight has thrown … Read more

Digging Deep: Is genetic recombination linked to expression of harmful traits?

Most mammals, including humans, are diploid. That is, nuclear DNA (nrDNA) exists as pairs of chromosomes (humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, while mice have 20). This pair of chromosomes are homologous, in that the sequence of genes on both the chromosomes is the same. However, a gene that sits on a particular address (‘locus’) … Read more

Digging Deep: Genetics gives a closer look into origins of the world’s first farmers

The Neolithic (~10000 BCE), human history witnessing a watershed: a transition from a nomadic lifestyle involving hunting-and-gathering to settled agriculture. The region where this took place – stretching all the way from Egypt in the East to Iraq in the West – is known as the ‘Fertile Crescent.’ This shift paved the way for humans … Read more

Decolonizing science in Indian education

India was imagined as a country that would be built on the principles of science and reason. However, in the initial years, it was a great challenge for the country to emerge with a collective rational consciousness. From Daulat Singh Kothari to Yash Pal, and now K Kasturirangan, we have kept our education in the … Read more

Digging Deep: Neighborhood air quality has spill over effects beyond what was previously thought

That air pollution impacts health is hardly news. Previous studies attest to the fact that air quality, along with other health indicators, further feed into – and even explain – socioeconomic inequalities that already exist. Studies in United States have shown that minority-poor neighbors experience higher pollution levels than White-nonpoor ones, which reflects in their … Read more