DMK President MK Stalin on Wednesday alleged that the issue over the translation of questions from English to regional languages in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) Medical entrant exam is part of a larger conspiracy to reduce the number of students taking the exam in vernacular languages. In a statement, he said that regional languages were coming under threat as not only has the proportion of people taking the exam in regional languages in Tamil Nadu has declined, but the proportion of people writing the exam in other regional languages have also reduced.
“The proportion of students who wrote the test in English and Hindi in 2017 was 90.75%, and it increased to 91.82% in 2018. But the number of students who wrote the test in a regional language had come down from 9.25% in 2017 to 8.98%,” he told The Hindu. Stalin also accused the NDA government its “step-motherly” treatment to regional languages.
According to Stalin, in 2018, there were 49 mistakes in translation from regional languages and students were majorly affected by this. Some even killed themselves as a result, he said.
“Although the Madras High Court directed the CBSE to award 196 (grace) marks to the affected students, the BJP government at the Centre obtained a stay (order) from the Supreme Court. The Centre’s approach has discouraged students from taking up NEET, and their hopes of entering medical college have been dashed,” the DMK leader said.
Further, mentioning that acquiring an exemption from the High Court for Tamil Nadu NEET students is the only way to ensure equal opportunities for the rural students, Stalin said that the government should put pressure on the Centre to get the President’s nod.
In February 2017, the Tamil Nadu government had passed two bills seeking to exempt the state from NEET. While the first bill sought to continue admissions to medical and dental programmes based on class XII marks, the second bill sought to admit students to PG courses based on a qualifying exam instead of an entrance exam.