Pune university apologises for 'jihad' question in exam papers

Published: 29 October, 2020 14:16 IST | IANS | Pune

The question was in both Marathi-English figured in the multiple-choice options of TYBA Modern World History paper and TYBCom Defence Budgeting paper

Photo for representational purpose
Photo for representational purpose

The Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) authorities late on Wednesday tendered an apology after bizarre questions on 'jihad' terror crept in the online papers of TYBA and TYBCom examinations, officials said here on Thursday.

The question was in both Marathi-English figured in the multiple-choice options of TYBA Modern World History paper and TYBCom. Defence Budgeting paper.

The TYBA question read: "Jihad is an example of what type of terrorism?" with options "Religious, Revolutionery, Political, State-Sponsored".

The TYBCom question said: "Which one of the following is the main cause of Jihadi terrorism?" with the choices "Globalisation, Spread of Communism, Armament Proliferation, Use of violence in the name of Islamic radicalism".

Both questions stumped students and many immediately brought it to the varsity authorities and even took to social media.

One such student Hashim Ansari said that though there is a topic on terrorism in the Modern World History subject, there is nothing pertaining to the manner in which the question was framed in the TYBA exam, and others questioned the relevance of the question for the TYBCom exams.

SPPU Vice-Chancellor Dr. Nitin R. Karmalkar and Registrar Prafull Pawar were not available for comments.

Following a furore, the varsity issued a statement admitting that a "wrong word" had inadvertently crept into the question paper.

"The administration expresses its regret for the same. The person heading the committee, which prepared the question paper, has been asked to give an explanation for the same and the persons concerned have been reprimanded," according to the statement.

Ansari and others said that even the SPPU's apology is half-hearted since it has not clarified on the word 'Jihadi' in the mischievously framed questions with "leading" multiple options aimed at a particular religion.

"We are demanding that the university must issue a proper apology, take strong action against those responsible for this mischief in a time-bound manner, and refrain from targeting the students who raised the issue," Ansari said.

Subsequently, the SPPU authorities claimed that even after the apology, some 'doctored images' were being circulated on the social media for which separate action is being initiated.

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