TWO DAYS after medical aspirants took the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET) on Sunday, aspirants as well as their parents alleged discrepancies in level of difficulty in the question paper in English and in vernacular languages. Parents in Mumbai claimed that while the Hindi and English papers were the same with a different sequence of questions, most parts of the vernacular language paper were different.
“The questions in Marathi and Gujarati were different from the English and Hindi papers. The difficulty levels of the questions in vernacular language papers, too, were different from that in English,” said Mahendra Choudhari, whose daughter took the NEET exam in English on Sunday. He said that candidates who took the test in Gujarati found the paper easier than the English paper.
The NEET exam was held by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in 10 languages at 1921 Exam Centres in 103 cities across the country. While traditionally the CBSE conducted the admission test in English and Hindi, this year it added eight vernacular languages including Gujarati, Assamese, Odia, Telugu and Marathi.
Jeet Vora, an aspirant from the city took the test in English and his friend Harshada Patole took it in Marathi. Although they got the same set identification numbers, Harshada found the paper different and tougher than Jeet’s.
“The idea behind having a national-level entrance exam is to judge students on the same level. But if the questions are different and the difficulty levels are different, the purpose is defeated,” said Jeet’s mother Sharmila.
The parents have now decided to draft a letter to the CBSE and the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development to bring the matter to their notice. “We will email our concern and seek a clarification from CBSE on why the difficulty level was different in vernacular language papers,” said Sudha Shenoy, a parent activist working for streamlining the medical admission process in the state.
A CBSE spokesperson said that the issue had been brought to their notice but refused to comment further. The board is expected to issue a statement on Wednesday.