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The Supreme Court today directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to file an affidavit in the case related to the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), explaining how it proposes to have identical questions papers in all languages.
A 3-judge Bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar was hearing a petition filed by NGO Sankalp Charitable Trust.
Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for the petitioner, cited data to show that the ratio between number of students who wrote NEET in English/Hindi and vernacular languages and equivalent ratio with respect to the students who qualified, was different.
It was her argument that the questions in regional languages were not identical to the questions in Hindi and English and the difference in difficulty level resulted in different ratios.
Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for CBSE, admitted that questions in regional languages were not identical translations of the questions in English/Hindi. However, he claimed that the difficulty level was the same. He said,
“As long as the difficulty level is the same, it passes the test of uniformity.”
The Medical Council of India also informed the Court that questions were first prepared in English and then translated into Hindi. But since experts were not available to translate questions into regional languages, different questions with similar difficulty level were set in regional languages.
The Bench had a brief discussion and made it clear that the questions have to be identical in regional languages also. Justice Misra said,
“We want identical questions. Tell us how you are going to do it.”
The Court then asked the CBSE to file an affidavit setting out how it will carry out the NEET exam in the future while ensuring that the difficulty level in the questions is maintained.
The matter is next listed for hearing on October 10.