Patnaik seeks inclusion of Odia language in NEET

Bhubaneswar, Dec 22 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention for inclusion of Odia language as a medium of examination in the prestigious National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical courses.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Patnaik urged to include Odia language in the NEET for the larger interest of students in the state.

“I find that Odia language as a medium of examination for the students of Odisha who will be appearing for the said test has been conspicuously left out. This, as you can appreciate, will put students from Odisha, who have studied in Odia, at a great disadvantage,” he said.

The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday decided that NEET-UG will be conducted in eight languages including six regional languages from the 2017-18 academic year. The eight languages are Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Telugu and Tamil.

“In fact, this decision of Government of India will provide a competitive advantage for the students reading in 6 (six) regional languages to the disadvantage of those from Odisha,” said the Chief Minister.

He said the Health Ministry has not sought ‘Odia’ as an option while taking the state government’s views on the language to be adopted for the state’s students, and this has created widespread resentment among the students of Odisha who will be appearing for the exam in 2017-18, and onwards.