Student body seeking NEET in Urdu accuses govt of being communal: SG to SC

By: | Updated: March 31, 2017 9:58 PM

"Please give me three days for filing the reply," the solicitor general told a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi.

The Centre had on March 10 told the apex court that it was open to the suggestion of conducting NEET in Urdu medium also from 2018 academic year. (Reuters)

The solicitor general today told the Supreme Court that a students’ body seeking NEET examination in Urdu language has accused the Centre of being communal. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar made the submission while referring to the affidavit filed by Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO) through its national secretary Thouseef Ahamad. “The affidavit has been filed by one Thouseef Ahamad in which they have alleged that the Union government is communal and thinks on communal lines. I need to file a reply to the said affidavit.

“Please give me three days for filing the reply,” the solicitor general told a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi. Advocate Ravindra Garia, appearing for SIO, however, refuted the contention of the senior law officer and said that they have not accused anyone and they just wanted that the NEET should be conducted in Urdu language.

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The bench then perused the affidavit filed by Ahamad and allowed the solicitor general to file the reply to it. The court was informed that in a matter relating to NEET, another bench has removed the age cap of 25 years and has allowed filling up of the forms through online portal of the CBSE till April 5. “It will be better if the bench which is hearing the NEET matters shall hear this case also. List the matter before the apropriate bench on April 10,” the bench said. Ahamad in the first paragraph of his affidavit has said it is “deliberate and intentional on the part of the health ministry of the Government of India to not include Urdu as a medium for the NEET exam because of the discriminatory perception of the government functionaries in viewing the language as not a part of cultural heritage and composite culture of India.

“As the language is associated with Muslim religion…,the government functionaries are prejudiced and biased and have deliberately excluded the Urdu language as medium for the NEET exams,” the affidavit said. The Centre had on March 10 told the apex court that it was open to the suggestion of conducting NEET in Urdu medium also from 2018 academic year. It had told the court it was not feasible to introduce Urdu as one of the mediums for the NEET from the current academic year. At present, NEET is being conducted in ten languages — Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya, Bengali, Assamese, Telegu, Tamil and Kannada languages. The court had earlier sought reply from the Centre, MCI, DCI and CBSE on the plea suggesting making Urdu as a medium for NEET 2017.

The MCI had submitted before the apex court that that it was open to include any language as a medium for NEET if a request was made to it by the states concerned. The counsel for SIO had informed the court that Maharashtra and Telangana have already apprised the MCI that Urdu be included as one of the mediums for conducting NEET.

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