Union human resource development (HRD) minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday made big-ticket announcements in Kolkata+ that will affect the fortunes of lakhs of students appearing in joint entrance examinations in medicine and engineering countrywide.
Allaying fears of thousands of students appearing for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) — the all-India examination for entrance to medical colleges — in regional languages, Javadekar said the vernacular question papers of the examination will be a mere translation of the question paper in English.
This year, the CBSE had set different sets of questions for students appearing for the examination in different languages, with students complaining that the vernacular papers, including the one in Bengali+ , were much tougher than the English and Hindi papers.
When asked by the HRD ministry why different sets of questions had been set+ , CBSE — the examination conducting body — had cited security problems given the sheer number of candidates and the large number of languages involved if it resorted to translations.
The HRD ministry appears to have shot down CBSE’s argument. “From next year, there will be mere translation of papers so that such problems do not arise,” Javadekar said. He was speaking at a symposium here.
He also set to rest speculations on the introduction of a common engineering examination on the lines of NEET from next year, clarifying that no decision had been taken yet.
“We are waiting to see the final result of NEET. The One Nation One Test in Engineering is at a discussion stage now,” he said.
“In a proposed bill to be passed in Parliament, power has been given to the states to have exams for students at fifth and eighth standards in March. If students fail, they will be given one last chance to appear in an exam in May.” Javadekar said 25 states have already given consent to the move. The past policy to have no detention from class 1 to class 8 has only affected the students, he added.