In lieu of the plea filed on February 01, 2017 by the Student Islamic Organisation’s (SIO) seeking inclusion of Urdu as a medium for NEET, the Supreme Court last week directed the Centre to include Urdu as a language in the NEET exam, the common test for admission into medical courses, from academic session 2018-19 onwards.
The bench comprising of justices Dipak Misra, A.M. Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar told the petitioner, who filed the plea for making Urdu as a medium for NEET 2017 scheduled on 7 May, that it would not be possible for the government to include Urdu this year. But, the Union of India has been asked to include Urdu in NEET examination from next academic session onwards. The submission was made while referring to the affidavit filed by Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) through its national secretary Thouseef Ahamad.
The justices made the petitioner understand that the exam is scheduled for May 7, and with less than a month is left it is next to impossible on the part of the Union to do miracles, nor the union can be asked to do so NOW. Lots of difficulties and confusion will arise. So, please try to understand and cooperate. The court had earlier sought reply from the Centre, MCI, DCI and CBSE on the plea suggesting making Urdu as a medium for NEET 2017.
Solicitor general Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, said that they were not opposed to the suggestion of conducting NEET examination in Urdu medium also from 2018 academic year onwards. On March 13, during the previous hearing over the plea, the solicitor told the court that a students’ body seeking NEET examination in Urdu language has accused the Centre of being communal. The centre at that time made it very clear to the court that it is not feasible to introduce Urdu as one of the mediums for the NEET from the current academic year. This is so because the process for 2017 NEET exam has already started and it is difficult to put the clock back and no state has made such a demand this year. Moreover, the last to apply for NEET 2017 was March 01, 2017.
At present, NEET is being conducted in ten languages — Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya, Bengali, Assamese, Telegu, Tamil and Kannada languages.