A controversy has erupted in the state of Bihar after a class VII examination question paper in one of the schools in Kishanganj indicated Kashmir as a separate country. Students in the mid-term exam were asked ‘what the people of five countries named China, Nepal, England, Kashmir, and India are called’.
According to the reports, the incident which happened in one of the schools in Kishanganj has forced the Education Minister to look into the matter. Education Minister Chandrashekhar Singh said that he would order Kishanganj District Magistrate to inquire into the case considering the blatant mistake committed by the paper setter. “Stern action would be taken against the person responsible for setting this question in examination”, he said.
The incident is said to have happened on Monday when the class VII students of one of the schools in Kishanganj appeared for the English mid-term test. They were asked to answer a question that failed to identify Kashmir as a part of India. Reportedly, a similar question was asked in the exam in the year 2017 as well.
The BJP leaders took cognizance of the event and slammed the Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance government for appeasing politics. Condemning the ‘mistake’, BJP state president Sanjay Jaiswal said, “We take it as part of a conspiracy. Such education department officials need to be thoroughly investigated. Kashmir question could be part of a conspiracy to pollute minds of young students”, he said on Facebook.
“Nitish Kumar is so restless with his desire to become the prime minister that they are inflicting anti-national question papers on the children of Class 7”, he added. BJP Kishanganj district president Sushant Gope also slammed the state government over the incident and said, “This is an attempt to show Kashmir and India apart in the minds of children. It is not a mistake, it is part of Nitish’s conspiracy to gain political mileage before the upcoming elections”.
However, Education Minister Chandrashekhar Singh defended the incident claiming that it was majorly because of the mistake of the paper setter and that the state had already initiated steps to rectify the mistake and to punish the guilty. He also countered the BJP leaders and asked what had party done in the past when PM Modi had clubbed Nalanda and Taxila, both as a part of Bihar.
Kishanganj, Bihar | Class 7 question paper terms Kashmir as separate country
Got this via Bihar Education Board. Ques had to ask what are people from Kashmir called? Mistakenly carried as what are people of country of Kashmir called? This was human error: Headteacher, SK Das pic.twitter.com/VVv1qAZ2sz
— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2022
The school authorities also clarified the incident and said that the question was misprinted due to human error and that the original question read, “What are people from Kashmir called?”. According to Kishanganj district education officer Subhash Gupta, the state education department conducted mid-term examinations for students from classes 1 to 8 from October 12 to 18. Kishanganj district had no role to play as questions were set in Patna by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT). “It was just a human error”, he stated.