A multiple-choice question on the “main cause of jihadi terrorism” in an exam paper for third-year B.Com students of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) on Friday left university officials red-faced, and prompted them to issue an apology for the same.
The question was part of the subject ‘Defence Budgeting’, one of the 3,300 subjects offered by SPPU. The university claimed that the paper is offered by only one college, and only a few students had taken the exam on Friday.
The multiple-choice question read, ‘Which one of the following is the main cause of jihadi terrorism?’, and the multiple answer choices were (a) globalisation, (b) spread of communism (c) armament proliferation and (d) use of violence in the name of Islamic radicalism.
Nearly 2.5 lakh students are currently taking the online-offline third-year exams being conducted by SPPU. This particular question paper on Friday, however, drew strong reactions on social media, which was flooded with screenshots of the exam paper. Taking exception to the use of religious reference in the question and the mention of Islam, students’ organisations also approached the university over it.
In an official statement, the SPPU administration said a “wrong word” was inadvertently used in the question paper. “The administration has expressed its regret for the same. The person heading the committee, which prepared the question paper, has been asked to give an explanation for the same and the persons concerned have been reprimanded,” read the statement.
SPPU Vice-Chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar said the particular subject was offered by only one college in Nashik district, which is under the SPPU’s ambit, and only a few students had taken the exam.
“We also discovered some doctored images (on social media) where the question was twisted. It was circulated on some social media pages by people. However, we have already expressed regret for the same. The concerned college personnel prepared the question paper but since the online examination portal is hosted by the SPPU, we are taking responsibility for the same,” said Karmalkar.
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