State minister for medical education Girish Mahajan has written a letter to Union health minister J P Nadda requesting him to include Urdu as a medium of taking the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)-2017.
As many as 168 Urdu-medium science junior colleges are running in the state, accounting for about 11,000 students appearing for standard XII exam every year, Mahajan stated in the letter. `Considering the large number of students from Urdu-medium appearing for NEET, it is necessary that the test be conducted in Urdu language too,` the letter, dated January 4, stated.
Students' unions too have raised their voices for Urdu to be included as a medium for taking the NEET. `Apart from Maharashtra, Urdu-medium students also come from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, J&K, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh among others. The government cannot ignore such a large num ber of students,` Mohammad Ali, public relations secretary of a students association (south Maharashtra), said.
`In 2013, when the state had committed a similar mistake, the Supreme Court had ordered the government to provide NEET question paper in Urdu language too. Repeating the same mistake in 2017 is nothing but contempt of co urt,` Ali added.
An online petition for adding Urdu in the list of languages for NEET-2017 has crossed over 2,400 signatories and will be sent to Nadda and Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar.
`Till academic year 2011-12, entrance tests for medical and dental courses were conducted through Common Entrance Test (CET) conducted by the state governments through bodies authorised for the same. These tests were conducted in the languages that were used for imparting education in higher and higher secondary classes in the states.In Maharashtra, for instance, the CET was conducted in English, Marathi and Urdu,` stated the petition asking for inclusion of Urdu in NEET.