CHENNAI: Students from Gujarat can opt for question papers in Gujarati language for the Joint Entrance Exam (Main), the country’s top competitive engineering entrance exam, making one wonder why the facility is not available for other regional languages.
The notification for the JEE (Main) 2018, which was released on November 20, says besides English and Hindi, students taking the exam from the cities in Gujarat and the Gujarati-speaking Union territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli can also opt for Gujarati medium question papers. Gujarati students have had the special option for at least the last three years.
JEE (Main) is the entrance exam for NITs, IIITs and other centrally funded technical institutions. It is also the qualifying exam for JEE (Advanced), which is the entrance test for the IITs.
When queried, sources in the Central Board of Secondary Education, which conducts the exam, said it is done as per a special provision. “The Gujarat government had for the first time in 2013 requested the board to conduct JEE (Main) in Gujarati. That facility has been extended ever since,” a source in CBSE told Express. But activists in Tamil Nadu said this amounted to discrimination.
“There are 22 official languages in India. If they are conducting it in Gujarati, they should also be conducting in the rest of the languages. This goes against the constitutional principle of equality,”said Prince Gajendra Babu, an educationist. He said he was not against conducting the exam in Gujarati, but if the CBSE was providing this option to students from Gujarat, it must be extended to all other states too to create a level playing field.
TN school education and higher education departments said they are unaware and needed to look into the records. (Inputs from Sumi Sukanya Dutta, New Delhi)