The University Grants Commission on Monday sought a report from Sharda University in Greater Noida regarding a question in an examination about the similarities between Hindutva and fascism, reported PTI.

The question had appeared in the first-year Bachelor of Arts (Honours) political science paper.

It read: “Do you find any similarities between fascism/nazism and Hindu right-wing [Hindutva]? Elaborate with the argument.”

The University Grants Commission on Monday said it found that students had objected to the question and filed a complaint. “Needless to say that asking students such a question is against the spirit and ethos of our country, which is known for inclusivity and homogeneity and such questions have not been asked,” the higher education regulator said.

The commission asked the private university to explain the steps it has taken to ensure that such incidents do not take place again.

Assistant Professor Waqas Farooq Kuttay, who prepared the question paper, has been suspended and a three-team committee formed to look into the matter.

In a statement on May 6, the university said that it regrets the episode as it could have the potential to “foment social discord”.

“The university fraternity is totally averse to any line of thought which distorts the great national identity and the inclusive culture inherent in our national ethos,” the statement added.

The next day, the university announced that the committee has issued a show-cause notice to the professor.

“The committee has also recommended that that the specific question found prime facie objectionable, may be ignored by the evaluators for the purposes of an award of marks to the students,” it said.