As many as 49 questions were erroneously translated in the Tamil version of the NEET question paper.
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the CBSE to grant four marks to each of the 49 erroneously translated questions in the Tamil version of the NEET question paper. It further directed the CBSE to revise the list of qualified candidates and publish the same afresh.
However the court said that it was left to the authorities concerned to go about with the counselling for eligible MBBS candidates. “As a necessary corollary to the above, the list of qualified candidates shall be kept in abeyance as would the counselling sessions pending publishing details of the qualified candidates candidates afresh in keeping with the order of the court,” it said.
A Division Bench of Justices C.T. Selvam and A. M. Basheer Ahamed observed that the Tamil-medium students be suitably compensated to provide a level-playing field.
The court refused to accept the answer given by CBSE with regard to teachers in respective languages having knowledge of relevant technical terms and would have taught the students the same. The court termed it as a realm of presumption.
The court further questioned the practice of publishing answer keys. How can a board at national level be uncertain about the answers, it asked.
“The difficulty of a student taking the examination of such importance in understanding rightly a wrong question, be however so mild error is to be appreciated lacing ourselves in his shoes and not in the shoes of those having the leisure of easy chair reflection,” the judges said.
The court also questioned as to why private students are not eligible to apply for NEET.
“Tens of thousands of children, having to support a mother, siblings, ailing parents and elders sometimes a deserving father by eking out a living by earning extra rupee, which keeps the home from burning and yet pursue their studies simply because they want to be educated. They want to lift themselves of the squalor their lives are in. Why are such students being deprived? It is because they do not put in ‘n’ number of fixed hours of study or it is because science subjects require practical training which they are not expose to,” it asked taking into account students from humble backgrounds.
The judges said it is not the knowledge gained as reflected by performance in examination that matters. “Should not government and education bodies provide for practical training widely publish the availability thereof and thus enable such deserving students to hope for a better tomorrow? At the end of the day our constitution is inclusive not exclusive,” the Bench said and hoped that the issue will engage the attention of the authorities.
The court was hearing the public interest litigation petition filed by CPI (M) Rajya Sabha MP T.K.Rangarajan who sought the grant of additional marks to Tamil medium NEET Candidates after at least 49 questions were erroneously translated in the Tamil version of the NEET question paper. Tech4all, a non governmental organisation had made a comprehensive study of the question paper and pointed out the errors.