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NEET error finger at TN govt

Human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday blamed the Tamil Nadu government for errors in the Tamil version of the question paper for this year's national eligibility-cum-entrance test, the single-window exam that aspiring doctors need to crack.

Our Special Correspondent   |   Published 20.07.18, 12:00 AM

Prakash Javadekar. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi: Human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday blamed the Tamil Nadu government for errors in the Tamil version of the question paper for this year's national eligibility-cum-entrance test, the single-window exam that aspiring doctors need to crack.

Javadekar said the questions were translated by people the Tamil Nadu government had assigned for the task.

"Last year there was a controversy over different question papers in English-Hindi and regional languages. This year, the question paper was the same and was translated into regional languages. The Tamil Nadu government gave translators," the minister told the Rajya Sabha.

Javadekar said the central government would from the next year take affidavits from state governments to ensure error-free translations for the entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses.

"From next year, we will take affidavits from the state governments that the translation is correct," he said.

AIADMK leader Vijila Sathyanath had on Thursday raised the matter in the upper House, saying 49 questions were either wrong or vaguely worded because of wrong translations into Tamil.

The controversy had led to a public interest petition before the Madurai bench of Madras High Court. The court has directed the Central Board of Secondary Education, which conducts the NEET, to award 196 grace marks to students who wrote their exam in Tamil.

Sathyanath, whose party rules Tamil Nadu, said 24,000 students wrote the NEET in Tamil. "Now, the CBSE says that the students should have verified it (the question paper) from the English version of the questions. Why was there any ambiguity at all? If there was a Tamil version of the question paper, why should Tamil-medium students rely on the English version of the questions?" she asked.

She also said some students were forced to write the exam in centres outside their state. "Some of the students were forced to appear in their exams in the state of Rajasthan, some of them were asked to appear from Sikkim, some were asked to appear from Ernakulum, where they were forced to remove even their nose pins, earrings, shoes, etc.," Sathyanath said.

Javadekar assured the Rajya Sabha that from the next year, NEET candidates would not have to travel far from their home district. "From next year, there will be no displacement. Students will appear the test in the same district," the minister said.



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