Giving hopes to thousands of students of Urdu-medium schools who want to appear for the medical entrance test in their language, the Supreme Court on Friday sent out notices to government agencies asking them to explain why Urdu has been excluded from National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2017. The Supreme Court has asked the Union government and Medical Council of India to file a response to a petition filed by the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) seeking that NEET be conducted in Urdu.
The court also issued notices to Dental Council of India and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). “The court took barely 15 minutes to understand our problem and take appropriate action. The government has no reason to give for not including Urdu in NEET, despite our repeated attempts,” said Mohammed Ali Shaikh, representing SIO, Maharashtra south. He added that a notice has been sent to the MCI, DCI, CBSE as well as central government authorities, demanding a reply within a week. “The next hearing is on March 10 and we hope for a positive outcome,” he added.
While originally the CBSE made it clear that NEET 2017 will be held in eight languages including English, in the last week of January they added two more to this list. As of now, NEET-2017 will be held in Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Assamese, Bengali, Kannada and Oriya but despite repeated requests by SIO as well as several other state government officials, Urdu was not included in this list.
“There are barely any Kannada medium junior colleges in Karnataka and despite that Kannada has been included as one of the languages to appear for NEET. But for Urdu, where in Maharashtra itself we have 168 junior colleges, no such provision has been given,” said Shaikh.
Not only did the SC refuse to hear a plea of urgency motion by SIO last week, even the CBSE board refused to postpone the deadline for NEET registrations to accommodate the hearing by SC. Friday’s hearing has given more hopes to students. The matter will be next heard in court on March 10. Also, MCI was open to include any language as a medium of NEET if a request was made to it by states concerned. NEET is to be held on May 7.