New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday demanded the sacking of HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and CBSE Chairperson Anita Karwal after the leak of two Class 10 and Class 12 question papers and sought a probe by a sitting High Court Judge.
The party said encouraging the ‘exam mafia’ has become the bedrock of the ruling BJP’s policies.
An exam mafia is running amok and the Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister was busy targeting political opponents in West Bengal, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a statement here.
“Multiple instances of bungling and malfeasance have marred the Central Bureau of Secondary Education under the Modi government,” Surjewala said.
He said the government had systematically denigrated the country’s institutions one by one.
The opposition party said the CBSE Chairperson’s post lay vacant for two years under the then HRD Minister Smriti Irani.
R.K. Chaturvedi was appointed to the post in July 2017, whereas Anita Karwal, who earlier served as the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat, was appointed to the post in August last year.
Surjewala accused Karwal of not taking proper care in the conduct of CBSE examinations and said a news report had claimed that she had received a copy of the leaked Mathematics paper a day before the exam was held.
“Instead of taking extreme care in conducting the examinations, Karwal was busy camping in Ahmedabad, promoting her book on mountaineering,” Surjewala said.
He said officials in key positions at both the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) and CBSE were “handpicked IAS officers of the Prime Minister from the time he was the Gujarat Chief Minister”.
“This has exposed the capture of highest academic institutions by the ‘exam mafia’ under the watch of the Modi government as also absolute abdication of authority by the HRD Minister and CBSE Chairperson,” he said.
The Congress leader claimed the CBSE had deliberately given up the established practice of preparing three sets of question paper for each examination to prevent cheating, duplications and paper leaks.
“Should there not be an independent investigation in the paper leak scam? Time to fix accountability and sack the HRD Minister and the CBSE Chairperson,” he said.
The CBSE on Wednesday said it will re-conduct examination in maths and economics papers for Class 10 and Class 12 respectively following the leak.
The Congress also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has written a book “Exam Warriors”.
“As many as 16.38 lakh students took the Class 10 exams, while almost 8 lakh took the Class 12 exams. Are they now ‘Re-Exam Warriors’ for Modi?” the statement added.
“Except for the degree of then HRD Minister (Irani), everything else is leaking in this country. PM Modi is compromising the future of exam warriors and our students.