On Friday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told media persons that he would once again write to the Centre to include Kannada in the list of regional languages for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test.
In a response, the Central government officials have said that Kannada could not be considered as one of the languages for writing the exam due to certain norms that were set for selecting the regional languages in which the test could be written, Deccan Herald reported.
Officials at the Centre have said that the regional languages were chosen based on two criteria – the state had to have conducted medical entrance exam in regional language at least for three years and that the vernacular language must have a lexicon of medical terms, the DH report said.
The norms were worked out after expert consultation and state officials to ensure that there are also teachers who can examine copies in said languages, the report said.
The Centre’s response was that Karnataka never conducted the medical exam in Kannada and the state officials who had attended a video call meeting with the health ministry had also not raised any objections and were satisfied with English being the preferred language for NEET, the DH report said.
Earlier this week, the Health Ministry had announced that NEET could be written in eight languages - Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and English.
The Kannada Development Authority had written to Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Human Resource Development, seeking to include Kannada, just after the announcement was made.
The issue flared up when Jawaid Akhtar, principal secretary, Medical Education, Karnataka, wrote to the Union Health Secretary CK Mishra, requesting him to include Kannada in NEET on December 22, according to the report.
Akthar said that the state officials had sought the time from the Centre to seek the government’s approval before sending the request of including Kannada in NEET, it added.
The report said that the Union government had made the decision on the languages way back in 2013 before conducting the first NEET exam and the first exam was limited to two languages due to legal objections.