Question on ‘Azad Kashmir’ in test paper released by WBBSE triggers row

A fresh political controversy has erupted over the recently-released compilation of test papers for secondary examination released by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Examination (WBBSE) having a question on ‘Azad Kashmir’.

WBBSE releases the test paper compilation every year, which contains Class 10 final test examination (pre-board) questions of some leading schools. The compilation acts as a suggestion for the candidates appearing for the Class 10 board exams.

However, page 132 of this year’s test paper, which was released recently, carries a question paper of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Vidyamandir, Malda, has a question that asks the students to point out ‘Azad Kashmir’ on the map.

Referring to the question, BJP MP and Union Minister of State for Education, Subhash Sarkar, said that it is unfortunate that the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) has been identified as ‘Azad Kashmir’.

“The state Education Minister must give his clarification in the matter. The state government should find out the brain behind this. If the publisher is responsible, action should be taken against him. This is the result of the appeasement policy of the Trinamool Congress government,” Sarkar said.

Another BJP MP and the party’s national vice-president, Dilip Ghosh, tweeted, “Check the Marked Section of History Question Paper on page 132 in Madhyamik Test Paper 2023. Students have been asked to identify the part of Pakistan occupied Kashmir as Azad Kashmir.”

Although neither state Education Minister Bratya Basu, nor any leader of the Trinamool Congress, has commented on the matter yet, the headmaster of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Vidyamandir, Swami Tapaharananda, claimed that there was no negative intention behind the question.

“There are similar references in history and previously too there were similar questions in many test papers and questions. Just one aspect of history has been mentioned in the question paper,” he said.

20230117-210802

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