In response to Lok Sabha MPs cutting across party lines and expressing their dissatisfaction with the Supreme Court order for a single common entrance test for medical admissions to be conducted from this year, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu Wednesday said the government will convince the court of its stand on starting the tests from next year.
According to Naidu, while the government in principle favours a Common Entrance Examination, it is faced with a Supreme court directive.
The apex court had recently asked the Centre and the CBSE to hold a single common entrance test for admission to MBBS as well as BDS courses through the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET).
Raising the issue in the House, Trinamool Congress MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar said that the court order will jeopardise the future of lakhs of students, and that it should be implemented in phases. “Students have been preparing in remote areas in their vernacular language for the past two or three years for this exam. But suddenly they are faced with this situation — they have to sit for a common test in which there is around 30 per cent difference between the syllabuses of CBSE and the state Boards,” she said.
She said besides West Bengal, students in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana too are preparing for the state exams.
TMC’s Tathagata Satpathy raised the issue of students from regional languages being forced to appear for the tests in English, while Rajeev Satav, Congress MP from Maharashtra, said the legislature should take the ordinance route to secure the future of such students.
Naidu replied that he will inform the HRD Minister, the Health Minister and also the Personnel Minister so that the Centre can reiterate its stand before the Supreme Court for holding the tests from next year. “I do agree with members from all sides, and even I have my own experience, that you cannot expect children all of a sudden to switch over to a new system without getting prepared for the same. Second, children who are in CBSE are all studying in English medium, whereas children in ISC and other courses are studying in regional languages,” he said.
Naidu added that only 18 per cent students in India study in English medium and the rest in their mother tongue.
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