Urdu exclusion in NEET 2017 has nothing to do with communal issues

On February 1, a plea was filed by the Student Islamic Organisation’s (SIO) seeking inclusion of Urdu as a medium for NEET 2017. Responding to the petition filed by SIO, the Centre in March, told the Supreme Court that it can allow all the aspiring students to take NEET exam in Urdu only from the next year and not from this year. The Centre said it is next to impossible to include the provision in to be held NEET 2017 on May 07, 2017.

Earlier in March only, the Supreme Court had issued notice to the Centre, Medical Council of India, Dental Council and CBSE to include Urdu as one of the languages in which students can respond to questions in the NEET exam.

SIO’s lawyer contended that earlier there was no request from any state to allow Urdu as medium but of late Maharashtra and Telangana has come up with such a demand and that should be taken note of. A bench headed by Justice Kurian Joseph took this fact into consideration while issuing the notice.

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. After the honourable Supreme Court’s decision dated March 31, 2017, which removed the age cap, the window for NEET registrations was reopened till April 5th.

However, earlier Urdu language was supposed to be the medium of NEET examination but in the notification released, it could be seen nowhere. As per the official notification by the Central Broad of Secondary Education (CBSE), the NEET will be held in 10 languages — Hindi, English, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Oriya and Kannada.

NEED FOR URDU

  • The Students Islamic Organisation is of the view that the decision to not include Urdu is unjustified and biased toward students who complete their higher secondary and senior secondary education in Urdu medium. Thus the fate of huge number of students is at stake.
  • SIO also said that this seemed to be a selective discrimination toward a language despite repeated representation. They are of the view that presently Urdu stands at number six among the languages spoken in India. It is also listed in Schedule VIII of the Indian Constitution. The organization said that a large number of students study science in Urdu language and NCERT too prints its textbooks in Urdu.
  • It was also highlighted that huge number of students study science in Urdu language in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana etc. The state governments have also made requests to the Union Health Ministry to include Urdu as one of the language medium for the exam, but so far no initiative has been taken.
  • Exclusion of Urdu in NEET 2017 deprives a large populace from appearing in the exam. They are either forced to appear in a language which they did not opt for during secondary education or not appear in the exam at all. This leaves them with very less options to pursue medical education as NEET is going to be the only entrance exam to be conducted for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in Medical Institutes in India.

While the Muslim communities have been allegedly saying that the Centre has left Urdu out of NEET because of it’s “prejudice and bias” towards Muslims, the Centre has refuted of the same. The government says that there was no consideration of religion or communal issues in this decision, reported TOI.

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