NEET: SC Stays Order on Extra Marks to Students Who Wrote in Tamil

49 questions in the Tamil NEET paper were mistranslated. The court has ordered a new rank list to be put out.

2 min read
Over 13 lakh candidates had appeared for the NEET at 2,225 centres across the country on 7 May. Image used for representational purposes only.

The Supreme Court stayed an order of the Madurai bench of Madras High Court awarding 196 grace marks to NEET students, who had opted to write the examination in Tamil language on account of error in translation.

The court’s directive, which came on Friday, 20 July, was the decision of a bench comprising of Justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao, who also issued notice on a plea of the CBSE challenging the high court order, PTI reported.

"We cannot dole out marks in this fashion,” the bench said, posting the next hearing in the matter, for after two weeks. It also asked all parties involved to come up with a proper solution.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday, 10 July, had ordered that 196 extra marks be granted to those who had taken the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in Tamil.

“Tamil Language Students in Advantageous Position”

The bench observed that it appears that after the judgment, the students who opted for the Tamil language are in an advantageous position over others.

NEET is the all-India entrance exam for admission to medical colleges.

The additional marks were ordered because 49 questions were mistranslated in the Tamil paper. The court ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to award four marks each for the 49 questions that were wrongly translated in Tamil.

The Madras High Court has ordered the CBSE to release a revised rank list after implementing this order, in two weeks.

The order came in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) MP TK Rangarajan. The court also ordered the CBSE to start the admission process only after drawing up the new ranking list

In his petition Rangarajan had said the key words in the questions were wrongly translated and caused a lot of confusion.

Around 24,000 students took NEET in Tamil in 2018. Students in Tamil Nadu have sought an exemption from NEET, with the state government opposing the exam as well.

The state government has said it continues to oppose NEET and has made efforts to secure an exemption for Tamil Nadu.

The rank list for medical counselling in Tamil Nadu was released by Tamil Nadu’s Health and Family Welfare department on 28 June. The first round of counselling for admissions to TN medical colleges took place between 1 July and 7 July.

The cut-off under NEET for unreserved category this year stood at 119 and for OBC, SC and ST stood at 96 out of the total 720 marks.

Rangarajan, in a statement to The News Minute, also said that it is now up to the Tamil Nadu government and the CBSE to act on the court’s order and decide whether the admission process would be suspended and the counselling be held once again.

(With inputs from PTI, IANS and The News Minute)

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