Students welcome NEET’s bilingual question papers for regional candidates

BENGALURU: In what is seen as a welcome development, the 2019 National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) will include bilingual question papers for candidates opting to take questions in their regional languages.

With the National Testing Agency (NTA) taking over, the upcoming NEET examination, scheduled for May 5, 2019, looks more promising and streamlined, said students and experts. Students will be allowed to opt for question papers in any of the 11 languages listed by NTA in its information bulletin. To avoid confusion, the NTA will also issue English question papers to students opting for regional languages.

“This is welcome. Last year, I had opted for the Tamil question paper. But due to discrepancies in the question paper, I could not get 50 percentile that was the NEET qualifying criteria. It is good that English question paper will also be issued to students this year so that there is no confusion,” said Mr Raghavendra K.S., an MBBS aspirant.

Many students said that NEET 2018 was “very difficult” as translation errors were spotted in most regional language question papers. In the Tamil paper, 49 translation errors out of 180 questions were found, which later led to a lot of issues and delays. To avoid this, NTA has stated that candidates opting for English will be given test booklets in English only. Those opting for Hindi or other regional language papers will be given bilingual test booklets in English and Hindi or other opted regional languages. The 11 languages that the candidates can opt for are English, Hindi, Kannada, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Odia, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

NTA has clarified that in case of any ambiguity in translation of any of the questions, its English version will be treated as final.

“Last year, approximately 13 lakh students enrolled for NEET 2018. The number will go up this year because NEET has been made mandatory for overseas MBBS students as well. Around 10,000 students go abroad for MBBS every year. It is important that there are no lapses in the 2019 NEET examination and admissions to Indian and overseas medical universities,” said Mr Saju Bhaskar, president of Caribbean-based Texila American University, an MCI-recognised medical university. 

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