The district administration here has issued a circular making it mandatory for students appearing in annual exams in State-run primary and high schools to mention their caste in answer sheets. Their results would otherwise be withheld.

The circular, issued by Bihar Education Project (BEP) officials in Muzaffarpur district, said it would be useful to tabulate the percentage of students belonging to a particular caste appearing in annual examinations from class I to VIII for ‘honest assessment’.

The circular was issued by BEP programme co-ordinator-cum-District Education Superintendent Arun Kumar and Primary Informal Education Coordinator Shankar Kumar through letter no. BEP/247 dated March 11, 2010.

“It will also be essential for invigilators to ensure that students write their castes on answer sheets,” the circular said.

The results of those who failed to follow the circular would be withheld, it said.

When contacted, BEP Director Rajesh Bhushan expressed ignorance about the state headquarters issuing such a circular. “We will verify it,” he said.