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Board autonomous, no question off syllabus: Rajasthan minister

“I have not seen such an instance before, wherein the Centre writes to a state government over a Board examination,” Rajasthan Education Minister B D Kalla told The Indian Express on Tuesday.

Written by Deep Mukherjee , Sourav Roy Barman | Jaipur, New Delhi |
Updated: April 28, 2022 10:03:01 am
Rajasthan education minister BD Kalla. (Wikimedia commons)

A day after the Union Ministry of Education sought a response from the Rajasthan government on the row over six questions related to the Congress in the recent Class X state Board examination, the state Education minister on Tuesday said the Centre’s move is the first such instance in his knowledge and denied that there has been any interference from the government.

“I have not seen such an instance before, wherein the Centre writes to a state government over a Board examination,” Rajasthan Education Minister B D Kalla told The Indian Express on Tuesday.

“We will seek an explanation from RBSE [Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education], which is an autonomous body. Thereafter, we will send our response to the Centre,” Pawan Kumar Goyal, Additional Chief Secretary, School Education Department, said. The Centre’s letter was addressed to Goyal.

Sources in the Union Education Ministry said such interventions on question papers relating to state Boards are not made on a routine basis. “But after the issue was highlighted in the media, the ministry saw merit in seeking inputs from the state,” a source in the ministry said. “Six questions on one party in one question paper seemed inappropriate.”

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Education being a concurrent list subject, such inputs can be sought, and the Centre has not asked for any explanation as such, the source added.

The source said the Union ministry had in the past written to the Rajasthan government over alleged irregularities in teacher recruitment tests in the state after the issue was raised in Parliament and was reported in the media. “But there was no response from the state,” the source said.

In Jaipur, Kalla, who has also served as Education Minister in previous Congress governments, said the questions asked were in line with the syllabus followed by the state government.

 

“The RBSE is an autonomous body and there is no interference from the state government,” Kalla said. “Questions which were asked (in the paper) are from prescribed chapters in the Political Science syllabus — there was nothing out of the syllabus.”

Under previous BJP governments, he said, questions had been asked on Atal Bihari Vajpayee or Deen Dayal Upadhyay. “Question papers are set in such secrecy that even the Board chairman is not aware (of the questions),” the minister said.

With the Opposition BJP taking on the Congress government of Ashok Gehlot over the incident, the RBSE had said that the question paper is set by an independent panel of subject matter experts.

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