Updated: December 2, 2021 11:39:51 am
“The unprecedented scale and spread of anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 took place under which government?”
Hours after this question was asked in the CBSE’s Sociology test Wednesday in the Term 1 Board Exams for Class 12, the Board apologised for it, called it “inappropriate”, and promised “strict action” against “responsible persons”.
The options offered to answer this question — No 23 in the multiple-choice paper — were: “Congress”, “BJP”, “Democratic” and “Republican”.
Taking to Twitter, the CBSE posted: “A question has been asked in today’s Class 12 sociology Term 1 exam, which is inappropriate and in violation of the CBSE guidelines for external subject experts for setting question papers. CBSE acknowledges the error made and will take strict action against the responsible persons.”
In a second tweet, it said: “The CBSE guidelines for paper setters clearly state that they have to ensure the questions should be academic oriented only and should not touch upon domains that could harm sentiments of people based on social and political choices.”
The Board did not provide more details but a CBSE official said the statement referred to the question on the government under which the “anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002” took place.
The question appears to have been picked from a paragraph under the chapter, ‘The Challenges of Cultural Diversity’, in the NCERT Class 12 Sociology textbook, ‘Indian Society’.
The paragraph, on page 134 under the sub-section, ‘The Nation-State and Religion-Related Issues and Identities’, reads: “No region has been wholly exempt from communal violence of one kind or another. Every religious community has faced this violence in greater or lesser degree, although the proportionate impact is far more traumatic for minority communities. To the extent that governments can be held responsible for communal riots, no government or ruling party can claim to be blameless in this regard. In fact, 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.”
The CBSE exam process typically involves two panels of subject experts — paper setters and moderators — with varying numbers. The identities of the experts are kept confidential, even from one another, and paper-setters do not know if their question papers will be used.
The question papers are reviewed by moderators to ensure that each “has been set according to the syllabus of the subject, blueprint, design and text books/ recommended books”, and complies with the unit-wise weightage given in the curriculum.
The question papers are then finalised and submitted to the CBSE after which no official is to be privy to them.
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