The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that it was open to the suggestion of conducting NEET, a single window entrance test for admissions for MBBS and BDS courses, in Urdu medium also from next academic year.
The central government, represented by Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, however, told the bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi that it was not feasible to introduce Urdu as one of the mediums for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) from the current academic year.
The bench granted time till March 22 to the Centre and others including Medical Council of India (MCI), Dental Council of India (DCI) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for filing their responses in the case.
The bench has now fixed the plea of Student Islamic Organisation (SIO) seeking that Urdu be also made a medium for NEET 2017 for further hearing on March 26.
Currently, NEET is being conducted in ten languages - Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya, Bengali, Assamese, Telegu, Tamil and Kannada languages.
Earlier, on March 3, the apex court had sought replies from the Centre, MCI, DCI and CBSE on the plea suggesting making Urdu as a medium for NEET 2017.
The MCI had submitted before the apex court that that it was open to include any language as a medium of NEET if a request was made to it by states concerned.
The counsel for SIO had informed the court that states of Maharashtra and Telangana have already apprised the MCI that Urdu be included as one of the mediums for conducting NEET.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had refused to give urgent hearing to the petition which alleged that exclusion of Urdu as one of the languages in NEET exam to be held on May 7 was “arbitrary and violative of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution”.
“The decision to exclude Urdu which is the sixth most spoken language of India, while including seventh most spoken language Gujarati, and twelfth most spoken language Assamese is completely without any rationale,” it said.