To bury or burn: CBSE question sparks row

To bury or burn: CBSE question sparks row

 A question in the Biology paper of Class XII board examination asking students to justify as to why “burying” should be promoted over “burning” to protect the environment from air pollution landed the CBSE in a soup on Wednesday.

“Public all over India is very much concerned about the deteriorating air quality in large parts of India. Alarmed by this situation the residents welfare association of your locality organised an awareness programme entitled (sic) ‘Bury, not burn.’ They invited you being a biology student to participate. How would you justify your arguments that promote burying and discourage burning? Give two reasons,” the question stated.

Though the question did not specifically mention if it was about burial or cremation of humans, use of phrases like “bury, not burn,” in the question without any particular reference to what should not be burnt but only buried led to confusion.

“So CBSE under @PrakashJavdekar run @HRDMinistry wants to promote Burial & not Burning – even asking impressionable minds 2 reasons in support,” @alok_bhatt tweeted, while posting the question.

As the issue went viral on Twitter and other social networking sites, the Human Resource Development Ministry swung into action and sought the board to look into the matter. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar expressed his displeasure, a source said.

In a statement late evening, the CBSE said the subject expert who framed the question was debarred for ambiguity in the interpretation of the question. “A show cause notice was also issued to the (board) official concerned,” it said.

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