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Students of Navodaya schools, Kendriya Vidyalayas may face test on Indian culture, values

Bhartiya Sanskriti Gyan Pariksha is an hour-long examination carrying multiple-choice questions that test a “student in moral, cultural and ancient science and technology (on which entire modern science is based) of India”.

Written by Ritika Chopra | New Delhi | Updated: November 13, 2017 5:44 am
indian schools, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, Kendriya Vidyalayas, Indian culture test in schools, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti The circular was dispatched by the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti to all its regional offices on October 5. (Photo for representation purpose)

Students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) and Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) may soon have their knowledge of Indian culture and values assessed, as school principals have been asked to “cooperate” with a Hardwar-based organisation that conducts such tests.

The Indian Express has accessed a circular dispatched by the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti to all its regional offices on October 5, stating that students of Classes VI to XII have been permitted to sit for ‘Bhartiya Sanskriti Gyan Pariksha’ conducted by the All World Gayatri Parivar and Dev Sanskriti University in Hardwar. It also mentions that the samiti will bear all expenses for conduct of the test.

Similarly, an August 30 letter sent by V Vijayalakshmi, joint commissioner (academics) at Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan to the regional office in Delhi, states that the KVs should cooperate with representatives of Dev Sanskriti University to organise the culture test for students of classes V to XII. The letter, however, clarifies that the test, scheduled on November 25 for all NCR schools, is not compulsory.

All World Gayatri Parivar was founded by Acharya Sriram Sharma with the aim of contributing to “individual development, family development and social upliftment”. It is currently headed by Pranav Pandya, who was nominated to Rajya Sabha on May 4, 2016, by then President Pranab Mukherjee on the advice of the government. Pandya, however, turned down the offer two days later.

Bhartiya Sanskriti Gyan Pariksha is an hour-long examination carrying multiple-choice questions that test a “student in moral, cultural and ancient science and technology (on which entire modern science is based) of India”.

Describing the aim of the examination, its official website states, “Schools need to strongly value ‘peaceful coexistence with people from other cultures’ and ‘pride for the country, the national anthem, and national flag’”. As per the test brochure, ‘Bhartiya Sanskrit Gyan Pariksha’ is organised in 22 states and over five crore students have appeared for the exam since 1994.

JNV and KV students of Classes V and VI will be charged Rs 20 for registration, while those in Classes VII to XII have to pay Rs 25. There are 576 JNVs and 1,128 KVs in the country. They are affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education and follow curriculum prepared by the NCERT. However, students willing to take the culture test will be provided study material and a question bank by All World Gayatri Parivar for preparation. It is not clear if this study material has been vetted by the Union government or NCERT.

The Indian Express went through the question bank for students of classes X, XI and XII. Here are some of the questions:

* In which cow breed do you find the surya ketu nadi?
* Name the king on whose request Narendranath adopted the name ‘Vivekananda’?
* Name Karl Marx’s most famous book
* According to Sanatan Dharma, which elements make up the human body?
* Which book mentions Akbar’s love for Gangajal?
* Why do most households in India keep a Tulsi plant?
* In which part of Quran do you find the mention of heaven and hell?
* What is described as ‘Shuddhi’ in Bhagavad Gita?
* Name the Muslim nation in which Ramcharitmanas is read?

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  1. R
    RR
    Nov 13, 2017 at 11:04 am
    Seeing the kind of rise un juvenile crimes, I think moral cultural and topic training including meditation should b made compulsory in every Indian school. We need good humans first than any big businessmen engineer scientists doctor or leaders. We r facing worst leadership and character crisis ever.
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    1. R
      Rapist Christian Priest
      Nov 13, 2017 at 8:25 am
      'Shocking and indefensible': 10 in 14 christian priests in Australia accused of child abuse and rape. The St John of God Brothers Christian Church had 40 of its members accused of abuse. JUST OVER 70 percent of Catholic christian priests were accused of abusing children in Australia between 1950 and 2010 but the allegations were never investigated, as the christian church is too powerful mafia according to “shocking and indefensible” data shown today during an inquiry into paedophilia in the church. The Royal Commission into Ins utional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard that 4,444 alleged incidents of paedophilia were reported to church authorities and in some dioceses, more than 75 percent of christian priests were perpetrators.
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      1. S
        SIDHU
        Nov 13, 2017 at 7:56 am
        Very Dangerous move of BJP RSS to Saffronise the Indian culture and Modi jee is Silent. It is doubtful now, whether. We are living in a Democracy or dictatorship. Compulsory teaching Hinduism in Government School is immoral act as much as Illegal.
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        1. R
          Rapist Christian Priest
          Nov 13, 2017 at 8:19 am
          Can you tell me why is this dangerous move? Can you justify why you are using so much hate and spreading hatred in the name of Jesus against Hindus? Why Saffronization of Indian culture is bad? How is this bad when some school test Indian culture? Should we test Italian culture instead? or middle eastern culture? How is this dictatorship? Are you comparing with Christian White Supremacist Naazi Hitler? If this is dictatorship how come you have the freedom to spread hate here? If it is illegal go to courts. If not, stop spreading fear and hate else we all know how immoral you and your christian church is.
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          1. Rama Krishnan
            Nov 13, 2017 at 9:03 am
            How come you are not commenting about Islamisation in Madarassa schools? Usual P secularist
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          2. Chayan Karmakar
            Nov 13, 2017 at 7:03 am
            I think this would be a extra burden for class 5 to 9 students.
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            1. R
              Rapist Christian Priest
              Nov 13, 2017 at 8:20 am
              I think we need to worry about how much lies we are told in the name of Sickularism and worry about how Christian priests are raping children on a daily basis in Christian churches in front of naked idol of Jesus nailed to cross and in missionary schools.
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            2. Y
              yash sehgal
              Nov 13, 2017 at 5:24 am
              The questioaire above not only contains hindu culture questions but about koran etc as well, hence a welcome move bcz Congies , commies , mussies, sickulars, JNU jholawalas, award wapsi n afzal premi gangs , not in my name goons n candle burning teams won't find anything to oppose. But it wud be additional burden on already burdened students. Hence this move not welcome. This knowledge can be imparted in daily morning assembly.
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              1. M
                Murthy
                Nov 13, 2017 at 6:18 am
                Yash Bhai, I agree with most of your comments, bar the last one. This material is NOT as burdensome as you think. It is a Voluntary exercise in any case. EVERY Country is now Conscious of its own Culture and Unique Iden y. In every Western Country, there is now some Revival of their own Values and Iden ies. The French lead this trend. They want their Muslim citizens to be French First, then Muslim. As a student, I learnt some aspects of the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagawath Gita. My elders taught me two leading Upanishads and, of course, the Great Ramayan and Mahabharath. I did not think it was a burden for me, although I did not have to write exams on them. On the contrary, it was a nice distraction from Algebra and Physics. I was asked to answer questions on what was taught in those "Sa ay Classes"...
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                1. Y
                  yash sehgal
                  Nov 13, 2017 at 7:07 am
                  Murthy sir..ur thoughts run parallel to mine. I, too like our children to be well aware of our rich culture n heritage but i talked of already burdened students. When it will be introduced, Prin ls of schools, who r the real evil of education system n need to be sensitized, will become so overenthusiastic that they will make it main subject n other subjects as subsidiary. Hence a fear of abuse haunts me. Anyway, if a viable solution is found out, i mist welcome this attempt.
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