DMK president M.K. Stalin on Wednesday alleged that the confusion over translated questions (English to regional language) in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) was part of a conspiracy to reduce the number of students taking the test in regional languages.
In a statement, he said regional languages were under threat, since it was not just the number of students taking the test in Tamil which was on the decline, but also the proportion of candidates writing the exam in other regional languages. “The proportion of students who wrote the test in English and Hindi in 2017 was 90.75%, and it increased to 91.82% in 2018. But the number of students who wrote the test in a regional language had come down from 9.25% in 2017 to 8.98% [in 2018],” he said.
Mr. Stalin pointed out that in 2018, there were 49 mistakes in Tamil translations of the questions, and that students were severely affected by this. Some even committed suicide, he said.
“Even though the Madras High Court directed the CBSE to award 196 [grace] marks to the affected students, the BJP government at the Centre obtained a stay [order] from the Supreme Court. The Centre’s approach has discouraged students from taking up NEET, and their hopes of entering medical college have been dashed,” the DMK leader said.
Reiterating that obtaining exemption for Tamil Nadu from NEET alone will ensure social justice and opportunities for poor and rural students, Mr. Stalin said the State government should bring pressure to bear on the Centre to get the President’s nod for the resolution adopted in the Tamil Nadu Assembly seeking exemption for the State from NEET.