A question on Kashmir in the semester examinations held in public schools in Kishanganj district of Bihar has created a row. Although Bihar’s education department called it a “human error”, the state’s main opposition party, the BJP, said it was a “conspiracy” and demanded stern action against those who compiled the Class 7 questionnaire for the social sciences.
The Bihar government-wide social science exam, held in Kishanganj district on October 12, had as its first question, “What are people from the following countries called? One is for you.
I. Chinese people are called Chinese.
II. The Nepalese are called the…..
III. The inhabitants of England are called the…..
IV. The people of Kashmir are called the…..
V. The people of India are called the….
The semester examination was organized by the Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC), an independent body under the Department of Education. The question papers are placed in its headquarters at Patna and a district has no role to play. Each district has separate questionnaires for each topic. Although the State Board of Education, Research and Training (SCERT) sets the questions, the overall responsibility rests with the BEPC.
Kishanganj District Education Officer Subhash Kumar Gupta said, “It is human error. The case has been communicated to the BEPC”.
A BEPC official said The Indian Express: “It is mainly the job of SCERT to verify it but the ultimate responsibility rests with us. In the case of the Kishanganj question, it seems that it is because of the lack of application of the spirit of the questioners” PEBC issued a show cause notice to the questioners.
BJP state chairman Dr Sanjay Jaswal, however, demanded tough action against those responsible for such a malicious issue. “We take this as a conspiracy. These Education Department officials need to be thoroughly investigated. The Kashmir issue could be part of a conspiracy and pollute the minds of young students”.