How to enrich and enhance the plus-two syllabus of Economics in CBSE Schools

The CBSE schools are busy preparing themselves for the rather dramatic change to the New Education Policy guidelines. In many parts of India, there is a very poor understanding of Economics as a field of specialization. The only option is to keep on adding value at the plus two stages in schools that offer the English, Business Studies, Accounts, Economics, and Entrepreneurship streams. Some nuances are sought to be discussed in this article.


There are many students and parents who tend to think of Economics as a punishment subject. The dominant stream is the so-called science stream and the students are forced to study either for engineering or for the medical entrance examination (NEET). In many States, such as Tamil Nadu, there is no entrance exam to enter into the B.E or B. Tech courses and the students can even pick and choose the college where he or she wants to study, as the supply of seats far exceeds the demand for engineering courses and there is a cut-throat competition to attract the existing pool of prospective students. Economics as a field of specialization needs to be rightly projected. The demand for qualified professionals in Economics with a good doctorate degree is global and not merely national. There is a great scope for the most advanced research and post-doctoral research in the UK or the USA will do wonders for the student.

The NEP is likely to open up a specialization in Economics from the ninth standard itself. There are many challenges and if rightly addressed, the changes can enable Economics as a field of specialization to simply take off. The steps required are a) Making research ppublications compulsory for all teachers b) Inculcating the understanding of economics in the seventh and eighth standards c) Enabling understanding through common sense observations d) Making economics teaching a pleasure and e) Constantly educating parents.

Making research publications compulsory for Teachers

While Indian economic journals or even management journals that publish research articles on Economics are quite adequate, it is commonly noticed that the teachers with a Postgraduate degree in Economics, often with an M.Phil degree as well, do not make any attempt to enlarge their vision or scope for any research. They do not have a single paper in advanced research published anywhere. They would come out with excuses as to why there are so busy and so on. This does not serve any purpose. The concerned school and the CBSE need to make it compulsory for the teacher to publish at least two articles in research-based refereed journals. Only such a rule will make the teacher take research seriously and enable the transfer of knowledge to the students in one way or the other. For example, there is a huge scope for micro-level research on sustainable development models where agriculture co-exists alongside small-scale industries and one large unit, say, a cement manufacturing unit in a local area. The cash flow would develop the entire town and the service sector. If the Economist is able to throw real light through field research that can be published as a case study, this itself will enrich the quality of teaching of Economics.

Inculcating the understanding of Economics in middle school

Any seventh-standard student would be able to understand that he or she needs to be competitive. When the basics of how the Reserve Bank of India controls the money supply, including the printing of notes and coins, is explained to the students, he or they can easily understand the difference. Many students in schools think that the RBI is like a printing press. Such misunderstanding should be erased from the minds of the students in the seventh and eighth standards.

Enabling understanding through common sense observations

When students start observing something, they will compulsorily learn the basics. On a Saturday, for example, a group of five students can act as volunteers in a mini-supermarket. They can help the salespeople with billing and so on. Or at least observe how the customers go ahead with buying the various branded products. In the smaller towns, they can be made to observe how the unorganized sector also contributes to growth. The teacher can then explain all the concerned basics of demand, supply, and wants based on desires. For example, if a customer chooses to buy chocolate for Rs.275/-, that is a want and not a need. The need will be the basic groceries needed for a family. The seventh and eighth-standard students need to learn from such observations.

They also need to be told what is a savings account, a recurring deposit, a fixed deposit, and so on. They need to be taught what is meant by revenue expenditure, what is meant by capital expenditure, and so on. These days, there are too many videos in various Indian languages on the basics of Economics. Students should be exposed to such videos as well, even in the classrooms.

Innovation in teaching methods is always essential and today all the more so. The changing dynamics of the education sector would demand a new perspective to teach a subject such as economics. An eighth-standard student should know about the Delhi School of Economics, the Madras School of Economics, the Madras Institute of Development Studies, and so on. He or she should also learn the basics of Business Economics, as there are too many courses in this area as well. And he or she should compulsorily know about the London School of Economics and other major research institutions in the world.

Making Economics teaching a pleasure

There is a totally incorrect perception that the teaching of Economics is all about Mathematics and that there are far too many graphical explanations. Many students have an allergy to graphical explanations.

The teachers who teach Economics well and make it a real pleasure opine that the truth is vastly different. If the student learns the basics and has a thorough understanding of each concept, then the subject becomes a pleasure to study. In fact, economics is the only field of specialization that has a massive universal demand, as the best Economists are not merely teachers. They literally run Governments in many parts of the world. Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Chief Architect of the Economic Reforms of India, is among the best Economists in the world. That he was also a good Prime Minister who brought a massive change in the mindsets of people and make the Indian Quality Revolution possible, has been recorded in business history books around the world.

Constantly educating parents

The beauty of Economics is that it can be taught to even farmers, who are bound to be parents in rural areas. Once they understand what it is all about, they will appreciate economics as a field of study and encourage their wards to pursue higher education in it. For example, they would already know the basics of demand and supply, as they also trade in agricultural goods. Many of them have service businesses as catering establishments that operate from their houses. If the teachers communicate to them in the language they understand, everything will fall into place.

Of course, it is far easier to communicate with doctors, engineers, lawyers, chartered accountants, or businessmen, who are professionals in their own fields and this interaction enables a greater number of students entering into the field of eoncomics at the graduation and higher education level.


While it is still unclear as to how the New Education Policy will pan out, and what modifications may come in the teaching process, the CBSE schools are well placed to pro-actively innovate and take things forward. The nuances of getting things done in the field of economics, has been sought to be explained in some detail in the aforesaid paragraphs.


Author: Umesh Chandra Bhatt25 Mar 2023 Member Level: Gold   Points : 4

I also agree that some basic Economics and some part of Financial management should be kept in the syllabus of plus two students. In today's business environment knowledge of rudimentary principles of Economics and Finance are to be learnt by everyone as that would be an advantageous thing in future when one opts for a career related to these subjects.
I hope that NEP would definitely take stock of these issues.
Our education system gradually undergoes changes as per the changing business and social environment and until that happens we cannot take the advantage of modified educational curriculum.

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