Lucknow varsity exam questions on Modi govt schemes spark row
University of Lucknow students, appearing in the BCom (final year) applied economics (Indian economic structure) paper, were asked questions on various schemes of the Modi government, sparking a controversy.
While a left wing students’ body protested against the act of the varsity and uploaded the question paper on social media, university vice chancellor SP Singh said he saw “nothing wrong in it.”
The questions, part of the varsity’s annual examination, sought explanation, in brief, on ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana’, ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana’, ‘Startup India’ and ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ and ‘Soil health card scheme’ launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to spruce up farm productivity, etc.
Nearly 10,000 students took the paper in the state capital that was held on March 17.
“All Modi government schemes-related questions were compulsory and each of these questions carried 4 marks. There were 10 sub-parts of compulsory question number 1, and at least seven of these schemes were those that came during Modi’s regime,” said Shiva Rajwar, an AISA activist.
Officials and teachers of the university, however, do not see anything wrong in the question paper. Prof RK Maheshwari, head of applied economics department, said, “The question was related directly to Indian economy. The paper setter will never look at the political angle. He will objectively set questions that are relevant and contemporary. And even if the government changes, the schemes continue and remain the same.”
Maheshwari added: “We have also asked students about MNREGA. But nobody is talking about about that.”
Lucknow University Professor VK Goswami, who is also media panelist in the Bharatiya Janata Party state unit, who is said to have set the question paper said it is a standard practice to ask questions on government schemes, as this paper of applied economics deals with Indian economic structure.
“We always quiz students on socially relevant government schemes and institutions,” he said.
Vice chancellor SP Singh said, “In this paper we ask students about problems and solutions and many other things related with the country’s economy. There was nothing out of the course and questions were all relevant. Question paper setter is selected by the board of studies and it (question paper) has gone through different stages. There was nothing wrong in it.”
Nitin Raj, member national council, All-India Students’ Association (AISA) alleged that this was another attempt of saffronising education in higher educational institutions.
“An attempt to promote the party’s ideologies in the education system showed up at a quiz contest last August in UP schools, where students had to answer questions about the state government’s schemes on Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya’s birth centenary. The state government has also asked universities to set up a chair named after Upadhyaya, a leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, which is considered the predecessor of the BJP,” he said.