In a significant development, the Central Government has announced that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2017 will be held in six vernacular languages including Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. Earlier, the exam was conducted only in Hindi and English.
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In a written reply to Lok Sabha on December 9, 2016, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Family and Health Welfare, Anupriya Patel, stated that section10 D of Indian Medical Act, 1956, prescribes conducting of uniform entrance exam in Hindi and English and such other languages. “Based on the consultations of State Government, UTs and the Central Government has decided that NEET will be held in Hindi, English, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu,” says Patel.
Further, responding to Lok Sabha member, K Parasurman's question on any criteria fixed for rural students in NEET, the Minister said that no criteria has been fixed for rural students under 15% All India Quota. However, the criteria for state quota seats are fixed by the State Governments. “NEET would not disturb reservation policy of respective state Governments. The State Government decides for state quota seats at UG and PG level,” Patel replied.
After the NEET 2016 judgement that was passed by the Supreme Court on May 9, many parties had raised concern over its feasibility for students who prepared for their respective state-level exam in the vernacular medium. Many MPs were of the view that language barrier may put these students at a disadvantage in a central test which is conducted only in two languages – Hindi and English. Read the full story here.
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