Tamil Nadu

TN govt. reiterates two-language policy, asks Governor to clear NEET legislation

Minister Thangam Thennarasu

Minister Thangam Thennarasu

Responding to Governor R.N. Ravi’s contention that school students should not be deprived of knowledge in other Indian languages, Minister for Tamil Official Language and Culture, Thangam Thennarasu, on Thursday, said the Tamil Nadu government has been following the two-language policy since 1967. He further reiterated the State government’s request to the Governor to clear [for Presidential assent] the NEET exemption Bill, pending before him since it was adopted by the Assembly in September last year.

In a statement, Mr. Thennarasu referred to the address of the Governor on the occasion of Republic Day and said his comments sounded as if he advocated a three-language policy in Tamil Nadu. “Those who are aware of the history of protests for language in Tamil Nadu, would realise that ‘other Indian languages’ is only another terminology for pushing Hindi,” he said.

Pointing out to the Governor that then Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai had, in 1967, announced that a two-language policy with Tamil and English would be followed in the State, the Minister said that has been the Tamil Nadu government’s language policy to this day. “I hope the Governor would realise that the two-language policy has not affected students from Tamil Nadu in any way from educational qualifications or holding major positions, “ he said.

In his address, the Governor had said that it was important for school students to learn other Indian languages like students in other States and contended that “depriving our students of knowledge of other Indian languages was unfair to all.” He had also said the share of students from government schools to the seats in government medical colleges was hardly 1% before the introduction of NEET.

Maintaining that the 7.5% reservation for NEET-qualified government school students in medical admissions could help them overcome the NEET “discrimination” only “to some extent,” Mr. Thennarasu said that this was only a “temporary solution” and reiterated that an exemption to Tamil Nadu from the ambit of NEET alone, could be the permanent solution.

“The Bill adopted by the Tamil Nadu Assembly seeking exemption from NEET is pending for approval from the Governor. I hope that the Governor would soon give his approval to the Bill and send it to the Union government and thereby stand by the Tamil Nadu Governor’s efforts in realising students’ aspirations to pursue medical education,” Mr. Thennarasu said.

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Printable version | May 19, 2022 11:39:45 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-govt-reiterates-two-language-policy-asks-governor-to-clear-neet-legislation/article38333210.ece