VCK MLA Ravikumar had pushed for adopting the system in 2006.

Common Era dating system adopted in TN textbooksImage for representation
news Education Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 12:43

Well over a decade after VCK legislator D Ravikumar first proposed it in the Tamil Nadu assembly, school text books in Tamil Nadu have begun adopting the Common Era dating system. The dating system is a shift away the Dionysian system of marking eras before and after the birth of Christ (BC, AD).

The move, which has been applied to both English and Tamil language textbooks comes with an explainer in the textbooks on the Common Era. Secretary of the state's School Education Department told The Hindu, “The use of B.C.E. and C.E. has been recorded since 1708. The NCERT books which are in circulation since 2007 too have the use of B.C.E. and C.E. Since the abbreviations are being increasingly used, it was incorporated into the new curriculum and has been featured in the new textbooks prepared keeping with the revised curriculum.”

Speaking to TNM, Ravikumar says, “I raised the issue in September, 2006. At the time, even NCERT hadn’t adopted it. In order for us to have a secular view of history, I said we have to change it. That’s why I took the initiative. As far as India is concerned, they have been saying puranas are history. We see them saying Ramayana and Mahabharata are history. At that time too, in 1999- 2004, these kind of attempts were made. So it was important to secularise history. Even internationally, the attempt was to not have it be Christ-centric. It first started with academicians and historians in 20th century. So I thought we should also adopt it.”

While the two systems are numerically equivalent(AD 2018 is the same as 2018 CE), the move was internationally adopted for the Gregorian calendar in order to lay emphasis on the multi-religious nature of the world.

Also read: TN Governor says he is authorised to meet officials, releases legal opinion

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.