Row erupts as Bihar school exam paper mentions Kashmir as separate country; probe ordered

Bihar Education Minister Chandrasekhar Singh assures probe into the incident

October 19, 2022 05:36 pm | Updated 08:15 pm IST - Patna

File image for representation purpose only.

File image for representation purpose only. | Photo Credit: A.M. Faruiqui

A row erupted on Wednesday when an examination paper for Class 7 students in government schools of three districts mentioned Kashmir as a separate country and asked students, “What are the people of Kashmir called?” The incident happened on October 12.

Bihar Education Minister Chandrasekhar Singh assured a probe into the incident saying, “This is a serious issue for which probe shall take place even if it involves top officials. There would be no lapses in the investigation of this matter and it would be probed thoroughly.”

The question was asked in the social science paper of the half-yearly examination held by Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC) which is an independent body under the State Education Department. Students in border districts of Araria, Kishanganj and Katihar had the question in their exam. The question, “What are the people of the following countries called?”, asked students to write the name used for people who live in Nepal, England, Kashmir and India.

Kishanganj District Education Officer, Subhash Kumar Gupta, though, admitted that it was “a human error and it has been communicated to BEPC”. A BEPC official though said “it appears that the question paper setters had not applied their mind”. BEPC, he added, has issued a show cause notice to the question paper setters.

State BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal posted a photo of the question paper on his social media handle and said, “Bihar government is still silent on my concern that they feel Kashmir is not a part of India. The question itself shows that the officials in Bihar government consider Kashmir as a different country like Nepal, England, and China.” The BJP also called it a “conspiracy” and demanded action against those who had set the question paper.

Reacting to Mr. Jasiwal’s comments, Mr. Singh asked, “Why did you not question when PM Modi called Taksh Shila which is in Pakistan, as part of Bihar? That was as legitimate a human error as the one that has been made now”.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.