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CBSE: Controversial passage dropped from Class X English exam

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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has announced that it would drop a controversial passage from the Class X English Board exam paper, since it was found that the same was not in accordance with the guidelines of the Board with regard to setting of question papers.

The Class X English Language and Literature paper was held on 11th December, 2021. A passage in the paper found itself in the midst controversy as it was seen promoting gender stereotyping and regressive ideas, the Times of India reported. “What people were slow to observe was that the emancipation of the wife destroyed the parent’s authority over children,” the passage reportedly read. Another such sentence reportedly part of the passage was “It was only by accepting her husband’s sway that she (wife) could gain obedience from the young.”

Further, the CBSE reportedly issued a statement which said “The matter will be referred to subject experts for consider red views as per the pre set procedures of the board. As regards the correct answer option and the answer key released by the Board, it is clarified that if the experts opine that the passage elicits multiple interpretations, appropriate action will be taken to protect the interests of the students”.

In addition to the above controversy, there were reports of an error in the English language and literature question paper. Question numbers 13 and 14 in the second comprehension of the English paper didn’t have any proper questions and only had the MCQ answer options, the Times of India reported.

However, the report states that a CBSE official has however clarified that the instructions were clear and no extra marks will be awarded to students. “With regard to the queries raised about English Class 10 Q no 13 and 14 in set 002/2/4, it may be noted that both the questions are correct and there is no ambiguity. Questions are to be replied as per the instructions given and not in isolation,” the spokesperson is reported to have said.

The CBSE circular on dropping of the controversial passage reads as under:

“A passage in one set of English language and literature paper of CBSE Class-10 first-term examination held on December 11 is not in accordance with the guidelines of the board with regard to the setting of question papers. In this backdrop, and on the basis of the feedback received from the stakeholders, the matter was referred to a committee of subject experts.  As per their recommendation, it has been decided to drop the passage No. 1 and its accompanying questions of the Question Paper Series JSK/1. Full marks will be awarded to all students for this passage to all the students concerned.

To ensure uniformity and parity, full marks will also be awarded to students for Passage no. 1 for all Sets of the question paper Class X English language and Literature.”

The CBSE notification can be found here.

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