Even as medical aspirants from across the country are busy with their Class 12 exams, thousands from Urdu-medium junior colleges are hoping for a miracle. The Supreme Court will hear a petition filed by the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) on Friday, seeking that students be allowed to appear for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) in Urdu.
Initially, the CBSE made it clear that NEET 2017 would be held in eight languages, including English. However, it added two more languages to this list in the last week of January. The exam will be held in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Assamese, Bengali, Kannada and Oriya. However, despite repeated requests by the SIO, as well as other state government officials, Urdu was not included in this list.
“There are barely any Kannada-medium junior colleges in Karnataka. Despite this, Kannada has been included as one of the languages in which students can appear for NEET. However, though Maharashtra has 168 Urdu-medium junior colleges, no such provisions have been made for those students,” said Mohammed Ali Shaikh, representing SIO, Maharashtra south.
Officials said one of the reasons why the exam will not be held in several regional languages is because the study material — based on NCERT syllabus — is only available in English and Hindi. However, SIO said members said they managed to translate NCERT books into Urdu.
Not only did the Supreme Court refuse to hear an urgency motion filed by the SIO last week, the CBSE board also refused to postpone the deadline for NEET registrations to accommodate the hearing. Students, however, still hope for change. “We have complete faith in the judiciary and are expecting a positive outcome today. Otherwise, thousands of medical aspirants will be at a loss this year,” added Shaikh.