Even as medical and dental aspirants across the country are demanding the right to appear for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2017 in regional languages, experts have pointed out that study material for the exam is available only in English and Hindi.
The Union health ministry has made it clear that NEET 2017 will be held in eight languages — English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Assamese and Bengali — but the books followed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) — considered study material for medical aspirants — are not available in any of these languages.
“More and more students from across the country are fighting for their right to appear for the exam in a regional language but they are forgetting that study material is only available in two languages. The government seems to be playing with students’ emotions,” said Arun Mehta, a parent.
Last year, a Supreme Court order made it clear that any entrance exam held nationally should be conducted in regional languages so that all students can benefit.
The circular stating NEET would be held in eight languages came from the Union health ministry in December.
Soon after, members of Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) objected as NEET will not be held in Urdu.
Earlier this week, state minister for health and family welfare Girish Mahajan wrote to Union health minister J P Nadda, stating that more than 11,000 students from Maharashtra appear for HSC exams in Urdu and deserve an equal opportunity to bag a medical seat.
“Just holding an exam in regional languages serves no purpose unless textbooks are made available in the same languages. Sadly, the Maharashtra government only spoke about making study material available in Marathi, but nothing has changed yet,” said a parent.
Many were unhappy that despite the state education ministry being reminded several times to aid medical aspirants from the state, it has not done so.
“Amid all the confusion about medical entrance tests and admissions in 2016, we had highlighted the need for study material as per NCERT books to benefit future batches. One year later, neither has the government upgraded the state board syllabus to match CBSE standards, nor made NCERT books available in regional languages,” said the proprietor of a city-based coaching institute.
As of now, parents are unclear about the syllabus for the NEET 2017 examinations as the CBSE is yet to give make an announcement regarding this.
“Until then, our children have no choice but to study two different syllabi, one for the class XII exam and another for NEET,” added a parent.