After the Supreme Court postponed the hearing of a petition to include Urdu as a language for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), students from Urdu medium junior colleges across Maharashtra, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh have requested the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to extend the date of registration. As of now, the deadline for registrations is March 1.
The apex court had refused to hear the plea of urgency motion and postponed the hearing till March 3.
“Since the SC will hear our case only on March 3, we are trying to convince officials at the CBSE and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to postpone the deadline for registrations by a few days,” said Mohammed Ali Shaikh of Students Islamic Organisation (SIO). While close to 40,000 Urdu-medium junior college students from Maharashtra are fighting for the inclusion, students from other states such as Telangana and Uttar Pradesh have also joined the cause.
Until 2015, Maharashtra conducted a common entrance test (MH-CET) for admission to health science courses in various languages, including English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Urdu.
In April 2015, the SC made NEET compulsory for admissions to all medical and dental courses. After the court order, the Maharashtra government scrapped CET, making NEET the only entrance test for admission to medical institutes in Maharashtra.
“With the help of some seniors, we’ve also managed to get NCERT books translated in Urdu, and yet we can’t appear for NEET in our language. Surprisingly, there are no NCERT books in languages such as Kannada, Oriya or Assamese, but still students can appear for the medical test in these languages,” said Arif Sheikh, a Class 12 student from Mahim.
While students are sending memorandums to the CBSE and the MCI, a delegation of students is trying to meet the minister of minority affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, in Delhi on Monday. “This is selective discrimination and we want authorities to know about it,” added Shaikh.
For fair chance
Initially, the Central Board of Secondary Examinations (CBSE) made it clear that the NEET 2017 will be held in eight languages, including English, in the last week of January, they added two more languages to the list
Now, the NEET-2017 will be held in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Assamese, Bengali, Kannada and Oriya
Despite repeated requests by the Students Islamic Organisation and other state government officials, Urdu was not included in the list
Officials also said one reason for not including several regional languages was because the study material based on NCERT syllabus to prepare for NEET is only available in English and Hindi
The SIO, however, is still demanding that Urdu medium students get a fair chance