A passage in the question paper for the Class 12 Madhya Pradesh board examination held on Thursday could well have been a test for 'spot the errors' instead of an exercise to gauge the reading and comprehension skills of students.
The question paper for the English (General) exam conducted for Hindi medium students of Class 12 by the MP Board of Secondary Education contained a passage with numerous grammatical and factual errors, besides highlighting the 'achievements' of a former Congress minister.
For starters, the reading comprehension passage in the paper spells Rudyard Kipling as 'Rudyard Kuplung' and identifies him as an Australian writer. Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay to British parents.
Moreover, Mowgli —the fictional character from Kipling's hit novel Jungle Book — is spelt as 'Mogli' in the passage.
One of the sentences (with several grammatical errors) in the passage reads: "One day when the little innocent boy of 18 months was asleeping outside of the hut, her mother left him and went to her fields. The herd of animals came there and lifted the innocent for their dinner."
The passage has at least a dozen sentences with grammatical errors.
It also seeks to plug the 'achievements' of former forest minister and Congress leader Harvansh Singh (whose name is misspelled) by stating: "MP’s ex-forest minister Lt Harbansh Singh, who was very devoted to the children of schools and education, worked a lot for Mogliland and started a programme named 'Mogli Utsav' for school students of MP in 2002."
Ironically, after being served a gaffe rich question paper, students are also asked to produce a write up on 'The Importance of English'.
At another point, Cobra is spelt as 'Kobra'.
Zameeruddin, a retired English professor, says: "Paper moderation was an important part of paper setting earlier. Errors in the question paper also smack of academic callousness."
School education minister Paras Jain says: "We will get the question paper examined to ascertain the errors."
When asked if there would be a re-exam, he says they will take a call on the issue only after examining the errors.