New Delhi: The Ministry of Education Thursday announced that the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main will be conducted in more regional Indian languages from next year. The exam is currently conducted only in Hindi, English and Gujarati.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) will now add more languages to this list for the exams starting 2021. The ministry, however, has not announced the names of the languages.
The decision was informed by Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank in a series of tweets on his official Twitter handle Thursday.
— Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (@DrRPNishank) October 22, 2020
The minister also said “the decision of JAB (Joint Admission Board that conducts the JEE Main) will help students comprehend questions better and score higher”.
So far, only the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) is conducted in regional languages. Apart from Hindi and English, NEET is also held in Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Odia, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
‘Decision will have far-reaching implications’
The ministry’s announcement also said the JEE Main will be conducted in “regional languages where entry to state engineering colleges is decided based on an examination conducted in regional language”.
States like Assam, West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Gujarat, among others, conduct engineering exams in the state’s regional languages. The idea now is to conduct JEE Main in regional languages in such states.
Nishank also said this decision will have far reaching implications as “top scoring countries in PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) examination use mother tongue as a medium of instruction”.
The PISA is an international aptitude test for school students across the world. India is taking part in this test next year, over a decade after it finished 72nd among the 73 nations who participated in the same PISA test in 2009, beating only Kyrgyzstan.
According to officials in the NTA, the decision to add more languages in the list for JEE Main was taken after requests from states. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had raised the issue last month.