oppn parties The Question Was Not Inappropriate, CBSE's Reaction Is

News Snippets

  • India's sovereign green bonds were oversubscribed four times as the RBI received 266 bids worth Rs 32892cr agaisnt the target of Rs 8000cr
  • Google tweaks its Android and India app store policy to allow manufacturers and users to choose certain things instead of compulsorily using Google apps after the CCI order and fine for unfairly dominating the market
  • Former US secretary of state calls former Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj a "goofback" and a "hinterland political hack". MEA S Jaishankar slams him
  • Jamia screening of BBC documentary on Gujarat riots cancelled after the university was turned into a fortress and later 13 students were detained by the police
  • Supreme Court grants conditional interim bail for eight weeks to Lakhimpur Kheri accused Ashish Mishra. The bail can be further extended based on his conduct. He was asked to stay outside Delhi-NCR and UP and surrender his passport
  • After the JNU administration tried to thwart the students from screening the BBC documentary on the Gujarat riots and PM Modi, now students of Presidency and Jadavpur universities in Kolkata have decided to screen it 5 times next week
  • While a US research frim Hindenburg says its analysis found the Adani group overleveraged and claimed that its bubble will burst very soon and that sent the price of group companies crashing (Adani companies lost a combined Rs 55000cr), Adani group said the report was 'baseless' and 'malicious'
  • This time Enforcement Directorate arrests TMC spokesperson Saket Gokhale under PMLA for money laundering
  • Padma awards announced on Republic Day: Mulayam Singh Yadav, architect Balkrishna Doshi and ORS pioneer Dilip Mahalanobis get Padma Bibhushan posthumously, Padma Bhushan ius awarded to Kumar Mangalam Birla and 8 others and 91 get Padma Shri
  • Stocks fall big time on Wednesday on F&O expiry, finalncial and banks take big hit: Sensex tumbles 773 points to 60205 and Nifty 226 points to 17892 even as the market volatility meter shoots up by 8.51%
  • World Cup hockey: Germany stun England 4-3 to reach semifinals; Netherlands beat Korea 5-1 to enter last four
  • Australian Open: Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna reach the finals
  • Suryakumar Yadav is named ICC Cricketer of the Year 2022 and Renuka Singh gets the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year 2022 award
  • BCCI gets a whopping Rs 4670cr in the auctions for the 5 teams in WIPL or as it will be known now, WPL. Adani Sportline gets Ahmedabad for Rs 1289cr while Mumbai Indians get Mumbai for 913cr
  • Calcutta HC overturns the hookah bar ban in Kolkata by saying that it is not an illegal trade
India Commentary Wishes A Happy Republic Day To All Its Readers /////// India Commentary Wishes A Happy Basant Panchami And Saraswati Puja To All Its Readers
oppn parties
The Question Was Not Inappropriate, CBSE's Reaction Is

By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2021-12-03 15:33:52

In the sociology text book prepared by NCERT - an autonomous body that prepares study material for subjects chosen by the CBSE - another autonomous body, there is a paragraph which rightly informs the Class XII students about two of the ugliest communal incidents in contemporary India. The paragraph reads "the two most traumatic contemporary instances of communal violence occurred under each of the major political parties. The anti-Sikh riots of Delhi in 1984 took place under a Congress regime. The unprecedented scale and spread of anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 took place under a BJP government." Then, in the ongoing Term I examination for Class XII students, the sociology question paper contained the question: 'the unprecedented scale and spread of anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 took place under which government?' The students were to choose the right answer from the given choices like, 'Congress', 'BJP', 'Democratic' and 'Republican'.

This seems to be a perfect example of testing the knowledge of the students. But the CBSE has called the question erroneous and 'inappropriate'. It cannot be erroneous for the simple reason that if the text book contained the information, the paper-setter was nowhere in the wrong to test the students on it. It cannot be 'inappropriate' as if the students can be taught about the 'traumatic contemporary instances of communal violence', then why can't they be asked to answer question on them? Or would it have been 'appropriate' if the question was about the anti-Sikh riots?

It is sad that autonomous bodies like the CBSE think that they will incur the wrath of the ruling dispensation if they allow things in the text books or question papers that paint it in a shady light. The Gujarat riots happened. They happened under the BJP. The students were taught that. Then where is the problem in the question paper? How does the question become erroneous and 'inappropriate'?

Education is about teaching the students everything related to the subject. Sociology demands that students be taught how India has managed to live with its diversity. Obviously, if social harmony is to be highlighted, social ugliness like communal riots also needs to be highlighted. The dirt cannot be brushed under the carpet.

NCERT would do well to make its text books inclusive and pertinent without toeing a particular line. CBSE would do well to allow its paper-setters to follow the text books in setting the question papers. After all, they are autonomous bodies. But if these bodies decide to kowtow to the political masters, education will suffer and the students might be left to understand that the anti-Sikh riots did happen under a Congress regime and there were no anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002. In the instant case, there should be no move to punish either the paper-setter or the person who wrote the chapter/paragraph in the text book.