The goods and services tax (GST) is set to make its way into textbooks. The ICSE board has decided to do away with the component on value added tax and replace it with GST in the Class X mathematics syllabus.
The Council For Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) said the segment on VAT carrying four to six marks will be replaced with GST from 2020 as the earlier tax regime has been discontinued. The decision on introducing the new chapter was taken last year.
“Since VAT serves no purpose, it has been discontinued. Students who will be promoted to Class X in 2019 will be offered the new chapter and will be tested on it in 2020,” said Sujoy Biswas, principal of Rammohan Mission School.
But students who will appear in the ICSE exam in 2019, will not have to study either VAT or GST.
Nabarun De, principal of Central Modern School in Baranagar added, “The Council is always in favour of upgrading syllabus in the light of current happenings.”
Senior mathematics teachers pointed out that students who will pursue commerce or have commercial activities in mind will benefit from the change. “Even for a layman, it is important to understand the intricacies of GST. The change will help students learn the present indirect tax structure of the country,” said a school principal.
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has decided to include the topics related to GST and demonetisation in the existing syllabus of subjects, such as economics, business studies, accountancy, and political science, minister of state for human resource and development Upendra Kushwaha had informed the Rajya Sabha in August last year. He had added that while publishing the reprinted editions of their textbooks for the academic year 2018-19, NCERT will make the changes.
The reprinted editions of the NCERT books has been updated and relevant issues included. Most CBSE affiliated schools and Kendriya Vidyalayas follow the NCERT curriculum.
Assam Board has introduced GST from the Class XII curriculum while UP Board has decided to include GST in Class X syllabus.
“GST is a new introduction to the country’s tax structure. It is an important topic that is being introduced in MBA programmes, CA, costing and other professional higher study courses. If students have a strong base on the topic then it will help them to learn the topic at higher levels. Directly or indirectly, GST plays a role in our everyday life,” said Vivekananda Mission School principal Sarmistha Banerjee.
In a circular sent to all school heads on Friday, CISCE secretary and chief executive Gerry Arathoon wrote that VAT has become obsolete and has been replaced with GST from the ICSE 2020 Mathematics syllabus. “Considering the above facts the schools are being informed that VAT will not be tested in the ICSE 2019 mathematics syllabus,” reads the circular.
West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (Madhyamik) and West Bengal Higher Secondary Council (HS) are however tight-lipped on introducing GST. Sources said though GST is a revelant topic, it was unlikely to be introduced in either Class X or XII. “A state government directive is mandatory for bringing any change in the syllabus. With the state and centre being at loggerheads, any such decision is hard to be implemented,” a Madhyamik Board source said.
The syllabus which will be taught to the students from the 2019 -2020 academic session is likely to highlight the issue of demonetisation. “Students are still not aware of demonistisation. Introduction of GST in the syllabus will give students a brief idea about the newly introduced tax reforms,” said a teacher. “The ‘one nation one tax’ concept too will be much easily taught,” said another principal.
Source :  The Times of India