Tamil question paper of NEET to be challenged by CBSE in the SC

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The Madras High Court had previously issued the verdict ordering the Central Board of Secondary Education to award 196 marks to all students who took the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in Tamil. However, The CBSE moved to the Supreme Court against the HC directing it to grant grace marks to students who wrote the NEET in Tamil.

The Madurai bench had previously stated that CBSE must ‘issue a fresh list of qualified candidates and directed that the counselling process is held in abeyance’.Passing the orders on a PIL, the High Court directed the CBSE to revise the list of eligible candidates and ‘publish it afresh’.

The petitioner is a senior CPI(M) leader T.K. Rangarajan, who had sought full marks for the 49 questions, saying that ‘keywords’ in Tamil questions were ‘wrongly translated’ from English and this caused confusion among the students.

The appeal in the SC would be on the basis that CBSE had cleared and specified that in case of any concerns over translation in regional languages, the questions in the English language would be considered as the final.

“The NEET bulletin clearly states that candidates opting for regional languages will be given a bi-lingual question paper and, in case of any ambiguity in translation, the English version will be treated as final,” said sources from the HRD Ministry explaining the grounds on which the CBSE could approach the apex court against the High Court order.

About 24,000 students had applied to take the NEET exam in Tamil Nadu this year. The state has around 3,328 medical seats in government and private medical colleges under the state quota. There were 180 questions with a total mark of 720 in the exam. The judges said the students who took the NEET for admission to medical and dental colleges in Tamil should be ‘suitably compensated to provide a level-playing ground’.

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