Spelling mistakes in letter embarrass Smriti

Spelling mistakes in letter embarrass Smriti

Red-faced HRD minister seeks explanation from CBSE

Spelling mistakes in letter embarrass Smriti

Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani faced an embarrassment after a language teacher from Chhattisgarh posted on social media an official letter written on her behalf that contained spelling mistakes.

As the image of the letter went viral on Twitter, with users sharing it and deriding Irani, the ministry sought an explanation from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) after it found that it was the board’s faux pas. The HRD minister told reporters as much.

The CBSE had sent the letter to Richa Kumar, a language teacher with the Delhi Public School in Bhilai, to congratulate her on the “stellar performance” of her students in the secondary school examination in July.

Though the spellings of the words "Minister" and "Sansadhan (resources)" were incorrect in Irani's official letterhead, the CBSE officials ignored them and sent it on behalf of the Minister with her digital signature.

“The minister did not physically sign the letter. It was her digital signature the board officials used,” said a top HRD Ministry official.

The teacher had initially posted the letter on her Facebook account. “Thank you for congratulating me on the excellence I exemplify. However, having been a teacher for the last 20 years, your official letter head is an affront to my sensibilities as a Language teacher. The attached photographs are self explanatory. Please ensure that at least the people who work for you, in your ministry, are well educated (sic),” she also wrote.

“Would not misspell my own name in Hindi. Have asked concerned organisation to give an explanation (sic),” said an upset Irani on Twitter on Friday morning, replying to one of the scathing comments against her on the micro-blogging site.

She also acknowledged on Twitter that among other things in the letter, the Hindi spelling of middle name, Zubin, was also wrong.

The CBSE had sent similar letters, bearing Irani's digital signature, to school teachers across the country to congratulate them on the success of their students in the board examination. It, however, was not clear at this moment if all the letters had similar spelling mistakes.