Pradhan spoke at an event held at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune, Maharashtra, on Tuesday.
Addressing the ongoing controversy surrounding the alleged removal of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution from NCERT science books, Pradhan stated, "A controversy is currently circulating that Darwin's theory of evolution has been removed from science books by the NCERT, and the periodic table has been excluded. However, I want to publicly state that nothing of this sort has occurred."
After the controversy emerged, Pradhan personally contacted the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), an autonomous body, to gather information.
"According to them, experts had recommended reducing some repetitive content during the COVID-19 pandemic, with plans to reintroduce it later. Therefore, the content in Classes 8 and 9 remains unchanged. In the Class 10 book, a portion related to the theory of evolution was omitted last year, and it remains unchanged in Classes 11 and 12," he clarified.
The minister acknowledged that there is a valid point regarding students who do not study science after Class 10 missing out on specific subjects related to Darwin's theory of evolution.
"The periodic table is taught in Class 9 and continues to be taught in Classes 11 and 12. As per the NCERT, one or two examples related to the theory of evolution were omitted. However, I assure you that the National Education Policy is being implemented, and new textbooks are being prepared accordingly," Pradhan added.