Published: 13th December 2021
Another controversial question makes its appearance in CBSE question paper; Priyanka Gandhi calls it "unbelievable"
The CBSE has said that experts' opinion will be considered in the matter, and appropriate action will be taken to protect the interest of the students
The ongoing Central Board of Secondary Exams are in the eye of the storm yet again after another controversial question made an appearance in the Class X English language exam. The question, which appeared in the comprehension section of the paper included a paragraph that said the 'emancipation of women was responsible for destroying the authority of parents over children'. "In bringing the man down from his pedestal, the wife and the mother deprived herself, in fact, of the means of discipline," read the passage, suggesting that women were meant to be obedient to the man who is supposed to be the 'master of the household'. It also called the 'feminist revolt' a reason behind fewer children in the 20th century.
However, this was not the problematic part of the issue. What did raise eyebrows was the question that followed, asking students to describe the tone of the writer. The options given were 'seems to be a male chauvinistic pig/an arrogant person', 'takes a lighthearted approach to life', 'is a disgruntled husband' and 'has his wife's welfare at heart'.
The Board's answer key said that the correct answer was option (b) 'takes a lighthearted approach to life'. The question went viral on social media on Sunday, December 12, with Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra taking to Twitter to call the incident "unbelievable". She added, "Clearly the BJP government endorses these retrograde views on women, why else would they feature in the CBSE curriculum."
Unbelievable! Are we really teaching children this drivel?— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) December 13, 2021
Clearly the BJP Government endorses these retrograde views on women, why else would they feature in the CBSE curriculum? @cbseindia29 @narendramodi?? pic.twitter.com/5NZyPUzWxz
The CBSE's response to the issue came in the form of a statement which said that expert opinion will be considered in the matter and if the passage "elicits multiple interpretations, appropriate action will be taken to protect the interest of the students."
Only recently, the exams were in the news for a question in the Class XII Sociology paper, which asked the students under which government the Gujarat riots of 2002 had taken place. The CBSE had called that question an "error and issued an apology. There were also reports of errors in spelling and wrong answers in other papers. Students have also reported options given with no questions asked in some instances.
In response to these concerns, the Board said in a notification that it will consider "observations on ambiguity in questions and discrepancies in answer keys."