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UGC pulls up Sharda University over question on Fascism, Hindutva ‘parallel’

The Greater Noida-based private university last week suspended a faculty member in connection with the question that recently appeared in the first year BA Political Science paper of the institution.

UGC, Sharda UniversityIt also suspended the faculty concerned and expressed regret. (File image)

The question on whether there are “similarities” between “Fascism/Nazism and Hindutva” in first-year BA Political Science paper was against the “spirit and ethos of our country, which is known for its inclusivity and homogeneity”, the University Grants Commission (UGC) told Sharda University.

The Greater Noida-based private university had last week suspended a faculty member in connection with the question.

In a letter to the vice-chancellor of Sharda University on Monday, UGC secretary Rajnish Jain sought an action taken report on the matter, giving in detail steps being taken to ensure “non-recurrence of such incidents in future”.

“It has come to the notice of the University Grants Commission through print and electronic media that an objectionable question was part of the question paper in the examination for first year BA Political Science (Hons) in your university,” Jain wrote. “It has also been noticed that students objected to the question and filed complaint with the University.

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“Needless to say that asking students such questions is against the spirit and ethos of our country which is known for its inclusivity and homogeneity.”

Such questions, the letter stated, “should not have been asked”.

The contentious question — “Do you find any similarities between Fascism/Nazism and Hindu right-wing (Hindutva)? Elaborate with the argument” — was part of the paper on “Political Ideologies”.

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As the question sparked a row, the university issued a statement last Friday, saying that it has constituted a three-member committee of senior faculty members to look into the “possibility of bias” in questions asked of first-year BA Political Science (Hons) students.

It also suspended the faculty member concerned and expressed regret. Sharda University stated that it is “totally averse to any line of thought which distorts the great national identity and the inclusive culture inherent in our national ethos”.

First published on: 09-05-2022 at 20:27 IST
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