BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday requested Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda to include Odia language in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for the students of Odisha.
Blaming the ruling BJD for failing to protect interest of the Odia students, Pradhan said the state government did not avail of the opportunity in articulating the aspirations of the students from the state.
"In the larger interest of the students of the state, I request you to reconsider the decision and provide an
additional option to the students to appear in either English or Odia in the NEET examination," Pradhan said in a letter to the Union Health Minister.
This will ensure meritorious students from the state are not adversely affected on account of their lack of expertise in English, he added.
Stating that a controversy had erupted with respect to inclusion of Odia language as a medium of examination in NEET, Pradhan said Odia had been excluded even as Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil and Telgu were included.
"The exclusion of Odia language is solely attributed to the omission of the state government that failed in protecting the interest of students of Odisha," Pradhan said.
He alleged that the state government has raised the matter with the central government at this stage only to cover up its failure and to mislead the people of the state.
Pradhan's letter to Nadda came barely four days after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sent a similar message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Chief Minister in his December 22 letter had sought the intervention of Modi in the matter.