CBSE acts on controversial Class 12 Biology exam question ‘To bury or burn’

The premier education board in the country, CBSE, was rattled when students & parents protested against a seemingly Hinduphobic question that appeared in the Class 12 biology examination recently. An official statement from CBSE has now admitted “Due to ambiguity in interpretation of question and its translation in Hindi, CBSE has taken strict action and debar the subject experts besides issuing show cause notice to the concerned officers also.”

The issue was first highlighted by twitter user @Alok_Bhatt who learnt about the offending question from the parent of a Class 12 biology student.

Ostensibly environment-related, the question in the CBSE Class XII Biology examination read: “Public all over India is very much concerned about the deteriorating air quality in large parts of North India. Alarmed by this, the Resident’s Welfare Association of your locality organised an awareness programme called “bury not burn”. They invited you, being a biology student. How would you justify your arguments that promote burying and not burning?”

CBSE officials maintained that the question was based on the syllabus of environment science from the chapter – “Ecosystem”, that talks about the harmful effects of burning leaves. However, the ambiguity of the question by no where mentioning garbage disposal, and also use of the word “Dafnana” in the Hindi version raised eyebrows – “Dafnana” is typically used for burial of bodies. 

While CBSE denied that there was any religious undertone in the question, later they lent credence to the perception that this was deliberate mischief by taking action against the officials involved in framing of the question.

Still, some on social media were dismissive about the whole issue. But what we have to realize is how the left-liberal dominance in education curriculum design subtly influences young minds. HinduPost has previously covered in a 3-part article series by Dr. Amit Thadani the anti-Bharat distortions in ICSE history textbooks. And another twitterati @pranasutra has uncovered similar distortions in Karnataka State 6th grade history textbooks.

It is common these days to find teachers in school telling students about ill-effects of crackers just before Diwali. One can understand teaching children to burst crackers responsibly, but why project cracker-burning on one day of the entire year as the reason behind air-pollution, when we all know the real culprits are road dust, industries, vehicle exhaust etc.

In an earlier articleHindu Cremation: The Next Target For Environment NGOs and Secular Politics?‘, we had presented the evidence which shows how cremation of the dead is being gradually demonized on various grounds. Hence, the public outburst over this CBSE question should not come as a surprise.

Did you like this article? We’re a non-profit. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.