The Sharda University on Tuesday sent a detailed report to the University Grants Commission (UGC) which had sought its explanation over an “objectionable” question in an internal examination that compared Hinduvta and fascism. The UGC, which regulates higher education in India, had sought a detailed action-taken report from the Greater Noida-located private university over the last week’s issue.
In its report, the Sharda University informed the UGC that the question had appeared for students of political science in the first year BA Honours course last week. It was a mid-term examination managed internally by the university, a varsity official said.
“The assistant professor, who had set the question, paper, was hired on contract basis in January this year only. His tenure was to end on May 31,” a Sharda University spokesperson told PTI.
“There was no complaint from the students but the university had taken suo motu cognisance of the matter and formed a three-member committee which had suspended the teacher the very next day,” the spokesperson said.
While the assistant professor could not be contacted for his comment, it has been learnt that during an interaction with the senior university officials in the wake of the episode he expressed apology for unintentionally hurting sentiments of some people.
“He told university officials that his intention was not to hurt anybody’s sentiments and it was not his objective to rake up a controversy. He had expressed apology over the issue,” a varsity official privy to the development told PTI. The question carrying seven marks read, “Do you find any similarities between Fascism/Nazism and Hindu right-wing (Hindutva)? Elaborate with arguments.”
The incident stoked a row with many social media users criticising the assistant professor and the university for it, and the UGC took a strong note of the episode. “It has been noticed that the students objected to the question and filed a complaint with the university. Needless to say that asking students such a question is against the spirit and ethos of our country, which is known for inclusivity and homogeneity and such questions have not been asked,” the UGC had said in a communication to the Sharda University.