‘Casteist question’ in Delhi board’s exam for primary school teachers causes uproar
The Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board said it was an ‘inadvertant error’.
The SC/ST/OBC teachers’ forum in the national Capital has demanded the removal of the chairperson of the board that conducts recruitment exams for the Delhi government over a question involving a derogatory term referring to a particular community.
The Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) had allegedly included the controversial question in an exam conducted on Saturday for hiring primary teachers.
According to candidates who wrote the exam, the Hindi section of all the four sets of the question paper had a ‘casteist question’. “I was aghast to see the question. Use of such language in an exam for recruiting teachers shows the deeply entrenched casteism among people sitting in the authority,” a candidate, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
Another candidate said that by asking such questions, the board has “hurt the sentiments of their community”. “We are upset over the insensitivity of the board and we demand an apology from them. It’s highly irresponsible of them to use such casteist language in a teachers’ recruitment exam,” he said.
The DSSSB, however, cited ‘inadvertent error’ behind the incident. “It has been brought to the notice of the DSSSB that in the recent recruitment exam for the post of MCD primary teachers, a question having casteist undertone appeared due to an inadvertent error. It is clarified that the procedure of paper setting is highly confidential and secretive in nature and the contents of the paper are not shared with the board officials. The contents of the paper are revealed for the very first time before the candidates only,” the board said in a statement.
The members of SC/ST/OBC teachers’ forum on Sunday wrote to the President, the Prime Minister, Union home minister, Delhi education minister and lieutenant governor demanding removal of DSSSB chairperson. “We demand immediate action against the chairperson and also an assurance that such insensitivity will not be repeated in the future. Otherwise, we will launch a massive protest,” said Hansraj Suman, a member of the forum. The forum has also called an emergency meeting on Tuesday.
He accused the board of ‘deliberately’ using the remark. “The board could have used any question from the wide literature available in Hindi language. But they instead put a caste-based question in the paper. It only exposed their mentality,” said Suman.
The board holds teachers’ recruitment exam for government schools in Delhi.
Delhi SC/ST welfare minister Rajendra Pal Gautam also condemned the incident and demanded an explanation from the board. “I will meet the Delhi Chief Secretary on Monday to discuss this issue. The services department is still under the L-G of Delhi, which is the governing body of DSSSB. The department has to now come clean on what made them agree to induct such a shoddy question,” he said.
The board also said they are taking measures to sensitise the paper setters.