To which department Jan Dhan Scheme is related, when is Sushasan Day (National Governance Day) celebrated, on which river bank the Statue of Unity is built – these were some of the questions asked to students in a General Knowledge Test conducted by the Surat Municipal School Board (SMSB) on Monday.
The test was held for Class VIII students and over 20,000 students of municipal schools in Surat appeared in the Test conducted in different schools in morning and afternoon shifts.
SMSB sources said the 50-mark exam had 20 multiple choice questions for 2 marks each and a descriptive question that asked students to name the five best works done by the central government carried 10 marks.
A copy of the question paper accessed by The Indian Express shows that students were asked questions about various schemes launched by the BJP-led government at the Centre. Some of the questions were — To which department Jan Dhan Scheme is related, When is Shushashan Day (National Governance Day) celebrated, Udaan Scheme is related to which department, whose birthday is celebrated as Shushashan Day, what are the facilities provided by the government under Ujwala scheme, the Kumbh Mela is to be organised in which city, on which river bank Statue of Unity is built, on which date the International Yoga Day celebrated, the full form of GST, among others.
The question papers were in Gujarati and Hindi languages.
The SMSB had a few days ago issued a circular to the principals of all 313 municipal schools in the city, asking them to conduct the General Knowledge test for Class VIII students. The exams were conducted between 9 am and 10 am, and 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm. They were given 40 minutes to complete the test.
Congress member in Surat Municipal Education Board Shafi Jariwala said, “Now the BJP is playing with the brains of students by putting questions related to different schemes started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We will not tolerate this and will protest. If a question paper is on General Knowledge, then there are many questions that can be asked.”
Surat Municipal Administrative Officer Vimal Desai could not be contacted despite several attempts.
But, reacting to the incident, chairman of Surat Municipal Education Board Hasmukh Patel said, “The purpose of the GK Test is that we want to check how much our students know about the central government schemes. The second reason is that in the municipal schools majority of the students come from poor backgrounds. We wanted to make them aware of the government schemes so they can avail benefits.”
“The OMR answer sheets will be checked by schools supervisors who have been supplied with answer keys. We will start a drive in schools where maximum numbers of students fail the test, and make them aware of the central government schemes. The reason for conducting the test for Class VIII is that from next year they will switch over to other schools so they should know about different government schemes.”
He added, “We will conduct such exams for students of other standards soon and questions will be asked depending on their capabilities, even if the Congress opposes or protests.”