AURANGABAD : The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been dragged to the Supreme Court, for excluding Urdu, as one of the languages for conducting the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), for the academic year 2017-18, by the Student Islamic Organization, a city based activist group. The apex court has issued a diary number for the petition which is to come up for hearing shortly.
Arguing in support of its demand, the SIO has said Urdu is one of the Schedule VIII languages of the Indian Constitution and a large number of children study science in the Urdu medium at the senior school level.
“In terms of number of people speaking a language, Urdu ranks sixth in India as the per the latest Census report. Not taking this fact into account, Urdu has been arbitrarily and unreasonably left out as a medium for the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test 2017,” said the SIO, Public Relation Secretary, Mohammad Ali Shaikh.
The Union Health Ministry had announced in December last, that NEET-UG will be conducted in eight languages for the academic year 2017-18 . The languages include Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Telugu and Tamil.
“The NEET and its implementation in regional languages is the outcome of the government’s commitment of bringing about transparency in medical education and removing malpractices,” an official statement issued then said.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) —the competent authority for holding the NEET — in a later notification added two more regional languages- Kannada and Oriya, taking the total number of regional languages to 10 .
The SIO described the omission of Urdu as “selective discrimination of particular language” by the Ministry,despite several representations made to them.
“The NCERT textbooks for class 11 and class 12 are available in Urdu, whereas such textbooks are not available in several other languages such as Kannada. The seventh most spoken language Gujarati, eighth most spoken language Kannada, 10th most spoken language Oriya and 12th most spoken language Assamese have been given as options of medium for appearing for the NEET, but Urdu that ranks sixth has been arbitrarily excluded,” the SIO has alleged, in its apex court petition, reports the TOI.
168 colleges of Maharashtra with a student strength of 12,000 students receive their 10+2 level education in the in Urdu medium. The SIO petition complains that the exclusion of Urdu for NEET not only deprives students studying science in Urdu medium of equal opportunity, but also the opportunity to pursue study of Health Science Courses.