In a major embarrassment for Union HRD Ministry, appreciation letters sent on behalf of Smriti Irani to teachers was flagged by one of them with glaring spelling mistakes, prompting the Minister to seek an explanation from CBSE, which tendered an apology.
The typographical error in the letter head of the Minister came to light after the teacher — Richa Kumar of DPS Bhilai — posted it in social media, triggering instant reactions from cross sections of the society.
The Minister’s name is spelt incorrectly in Hindi as well as the words “minister” and “sansadhan (in Hindi)”.
“I have sought an explanation from CBSE as there was spelling mistakes in some of the letters,” she told reporters and demanded fixing of responsibilities.
Stung by the errors, she also tweeted “would not mis spell my own name in Hindi. Have asked concerned organisation to give an explanation”.
CBSE was quick to tender an apology over the error and promised to re-issue the appreciation letters.
“Inconvenience caused due to these errors is deeply regretted and I profusely apologise on behalf of CBSE,” its secretary Joseph Emmanuel said in a communication to the Minister.
He said CBSE is undertaking immediate re-issuance of letters to teachers and principals to whom earlier letters were dispatched along with apology.
The appreciation letters were sent in July, like every year, to students, teachers and principals for commendable academic performance during 2014-15.
“By oversight during proof reading, the errors in the letter head were not detected and some letter were issued.
However the error were detected and further printing of such letters was immediately stopped and appropriate corrections were made.
“I assure you that the officers in CBSE will take utmost care that such errors do not recur in future,” the secretary said in his communication.
In her posting, the teacher said “Thank you for congratulating me on the excellence I exemplify. However, having been a teacher for the last twenty 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,” she said in her Facebook posting.