Delhi’s Director of Education Udit Rai stoked controversy on Thursday after a video surfaced on social media in which he is purportedly asking students at a government school to “fill answer sheets with anything” during exams but not leave them blank.
During his interaction with class 12 students, he said the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has been asked to give marks to students as long as they write something in their answer sheets.
The Congress and the BJP targeted the Delhi government over the video while senior government officials said Rai’s comments had been taken out of context.
“If you don’t know the answers, write anything. Copy the questions in the answer slots but don’t leave the answer sheet blank. We have spoken to your teachers and they have said that they will mark you provided something is written in the answer sheets. We have also told the CBSE that if a child writes something, they should be marked,” he said.
Despite repeated attempts, Rai did not comment on the video.
CBSE officials also declined to comment and said the education department could “give context” to the video.
A senior Delhi government official said Rai’s speech had been “taken out of context”.
The BJP and the Congress hit out at Rai and the Delhi government over the video.
Sharing the video on Twitter, Naveen Kumar, media head of Delhi BJP, said, “Did you (Rai) become an Indian Administrative Officer by writing questions instead of answers? This is the level of education in Delhi.”
The Delhi Congress tweeted from its official handle saying, “Kejriwal ji, what kind of education model is this? Stop playing from students’ future.”
Ashok Aggarwal, national president at All India Parents Association, said he has written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the video.
“I have come across a shocking video wherein Director of Education, Delhi Government is instructing students not to leave answer sheets blank and write anything.”
He also added that he had a word with CBSE that if students write even questions in the answer sheet, they will be given marks. “Such a person seems undeserving to be the director of education. Please take necessary action,” Aggarwal said in his letter.
He also said that Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio, “must take responsibility for what the DoE has done to degrade education and issue a public statement”.