New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India on Friday directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to respond to a petition filed by Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO) asking to include Urdu as one of the languages in which National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) is to be conducted.
Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice R. Banumathi also directed the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Dental Council of India to respond to the plea and posted the matter for March 10.
National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) is a national level exam introduced in 2016 conducted for admission to MBBS and BDS programs at medical and dental institutes in India. This year the exam is schedule to be held in May.
The petition was filed by Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO), a student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, last month. The plea said that the decision to not conduct the exam in Urdu was unfair to students who finish their senior secondary education in Urdu language.
The petitioner's counsel Advocate Ravinder S Garia informed the court that while earlier no state had come forward with the request, now the state governments of Maharashtra and Telangana have also requested the Central government to include Urdu as one of the languages in NEET.
A Senior Health Ministry official had in January said to conduct National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET 2017) in Urdu along with other languages is impractical.
Calling the demand “unreasonable”, the health ministry official said, “There will be no end to demands and requests if we keep entertaining and including languages one after another. This is impractical and unreasonable.”
“Those willing to give exam in urdu would just be one per cent,” the unnamed official is quoted by Asian Age.
The official said that Maharashtra had conducted the exam in urdu in 2013 and only 5,000 students appeared.
“Many of them could not even pass the exam,” he added.
The Health Ministry had in December declared that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission in medical colleges will be held in eight languages - Hindi, English, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu- for the academic year 2017-18.
Later on, Odia and Kannada were added in the list after Karnataka and Orissa governments picked up the issue and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention for inclusion of their language in conducting NEET 2017.
Though an official confirmation is still awaited, NEET 2017 is expected to be held in May, 2017.
The candidate qualifying NEET will be eligible for all India quota and other quotas under the State governments and Institutes irrespective of the medium taken by candidates, subject to other eligibility criteria.
NEET has replaced AIPMT and has been made mandatory for admissions in all-India medical/dental colleges which means no other state can conduct its separate medical entrance.