BHOPAL: Blunders in examination question papers are becoming a regular feature in Madhya Pradesh.
The latest faux pas occurred in the Social Science paper of the ongoing Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education's Class X examinations, in which Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) has been referred to as Azad Kashmir.
Shockingly, Azad Kashmir was mentioned not in one but two questions of the Social Science examination which was held across the state on Saturday.
Question No. 4 asked examinees to match six pairs of sub-questions and sub-answers. The words Azad Kashmir formed one of the sub-answers.
Also, in Question No. 26, the examinees were asked to plot Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bangladesh, Azad Kashmir, Betwa river and Nepal on the map of India.
The development stoked a political controversy in the already politically volatile state, with the opposition BJP attacking the Kamal Nath government over the issue. “Class X students appearing in the MP State Board exam are being asked to show Azad Kashmir on India’s map and are also asked to match Azad Kashmir with the suitable sub-question. This is happening despite both houses of the Parliament in 1994 having unanimously adopted the resolution that the entire Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and that Pakistan must vacate parts of the state under its occupation,” state BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said.
“Asking students to show Azad Kashmir on India’s map is shocking. The state government not only needs to punish those responsible, but also come clear on what is its stand on Jammu and Kashmir. Such developments indicate that the Congress government in MP toes the line of its MP from West Bengal Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on the Kashmir issue,” Agrawal added.
Senior Congress leader Narendra Saluja, who is also the CM’s media coordinator, responded, “The CM has taken prompt notice of the highly objectionable development and ordered strict action against those responsible for it. Acting on the CM’s directions, the concerned question paper setter has been suspended with immediate effect.”
It’s not the first time blunders in exam question papers have sparked a row in Madhya Pradesh.
In January 2020, a controversy erupted over the MP Public Service Commission (MPPSC) state service prelims examination question paper, which asked five questions based on a passage containing objectionable content about the Bhils -- the most populous tribe in MP.
A fortnight before that, a similar controversy erupted over the use of the term ‘revolutionary terrorist’ in the MA (Political Philosophy) question paper of Jiwaji University, Gwalior.