Sunday, February 25, 2018

Science fraternity finds IISER question logical


PUNE: The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, has courted controversy over a question having direct reference to the controversial statement of Union minister of state for human resource development Satyapal Singh on Charles Darwin’s human evolution theory.

The question posed to IISER’s undergraduate students at a recently held examination sought to know as to what was wrong with Singh’s statement. The institute argued the question was posed to gauge the “logical reasoning” ability of the students, but some experts felt IISER could have asked a “straight question without any reference to Singh.”

IISER dean Sanjeev Galande said, “The question was meant to test the logical ability of the students about evolution. Just a reference was made to Singh’s statement. The question had no political tone.” The students in “question” are pursuing evolution course and the Darwin’s theory is a part of their study course, Galande said. “There was a note below the question, clarifying our stand. Most teachers here are scientists and want to test student’s analytical ability.”

The science fraternity found the question logical. IISER, Kolkata, director Sourav Pal and former director at NCL, Pune, said, “The intention probably was to know the students’ understanding. But I feel the question should have been straight.” Aniket Sule, reader at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, said, “The question made it clear that the students are not supposed to give argument on why evolution is correct. Rather they should give argument on why Singh’s statement did not make any sense.”


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