Did an Indian state board exam paper just mention Kashmir as a separate ‘country’?

October 12, 2017
Samaa Web Desk

PATNA: Experts in the Bihar education department apparently consider Kashmir a separate ‘country’, reported Times of India.

According to experts in the Bihar education department, Kashmir is not a part of India but a separate country. A question paper prepared by the state board for class VII students across all government schools asked them to name what the people of five countries are called. The countries were: China, Nepal, England, Kashmir and India.

The examination, which commenced on October 5, will end on Wednesday. They are being conducted under the Centre’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which is overseen in the state by the Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC), a wing of the state education department.

A student of Vaishali district pointed out the error on Tuesday. When asked about it, Vaishali district education officer Sangeeta Sinha said, “I was on leave and have just resumed work. I will have to look into the matter.”

BEPC state programme officer Prem Chandra, however, knew about the gaffe. “It’s very embarrassing, I admit,” he said and called it a printing error. Sources in the education department said the question papers for the BEPC examinations are prepared centrally though they are printed at multiple locations.

Kashmir has remained a disputed territory since its division between India and Pakistan that took place at the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both India and Pakistan claim the territory in its entirety.

Separatist groups have fought for decades roughly 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the disputed territory, demanding independence or merger of the Himalayan region with Pakistan.

Tens of thousands, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting.