One of the officials has been quoted in reports as calling it a "printing error"
After brazen cheating and fake toppers, Bihar's education department is once again in an embarrassing spot with an exam question that appears to treat Kashmir as a separate country.
The Bihar education board's question paper for Class VII exams, distributed across government schools, asked students to name what the people of five countries are called. The "countries" listed are China, Nepal, England, India And - Kashmir.
The error was flagged by a student yesterday. Action will be taken against the teacher who prepared the exam and no marks will be given for the Kashmir question.
"It was a printing error for which we express our deep regret. The question will not be taken into account at the time of evaluation," said Rajeev Ranjan Prasad, an officer of the Bihar Education Project Council, which oversees these exams.
The state government is investigating how it happened. "It is very embarrassing for us. We have ordered an inquiry," the official told NDTV.
Bihar is no stranger to school-related controversies.
Last year, a school topper, Ruby Rai, was caught in a TV sting saying she learnt cooking in her best subject political science. She was among 20 students, teachers and others arrested for a cash-for-marks scandal. After Ruby Rai, other "fake" toppers who had apparently paid for an impressive exam score, also surfaced.
In 2015, Bihar was shamed globally by pictures of relatives scaling the walls of an exam centre to pass cheatsheets to students in an exam centre.