New Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday refuted all reports of Tamil medium NEET aspirants being given Hindi papers during the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) undergraduate (UG) 2018 exam which took place on Sunday, May 6. The board also denied forcing a child from Tamil Nadu to go to Udaipur exam center.
“The news about ,a case where a child from Tamil Nadu claimed that he had been forced to go to Udaipur center by CBSE was wrong, because his online application records show that the child had himself opted for Udaipur as an option for exam center,” said the board in a statement on Monday.
“Similarly, news about depriving Tamil Nadu candidates of attempting question paper in Tamil. was also wrong. In fact, all candidates, who had opted Tamil as medium were given centres within Tamil Nadu, and were given question papers in Tamil,” it added.
Nearly 100 Tamil-medium NEET aspirants were reportedly given question papers in Hindi at a centre in Madurai. The pupils were later provided with the Tamil version after a delay of about three hours, said news agency PTI.
The board, however, admited that four centres received question papers in a different language than what the language they opted for.
“In 4 out of 2255 centers in India, during the conduct of examination, when it came to notice that the medium of Question paper was not correct for the candidates, CBSE immediately responded by providing them question paper in the language of their choice,” said the board.
More than 13 lakh candidates attempted the NEET UG 2018 exam on Sunday in 2255 centres across 136 cities.
About 1.07 lakh candidates took NEET exams across 170 centres in 10 cities in Tamil Nadu. In Chennai, about 33,000 took their examination at 49 centres, the official said adding there were very negligible absentees.
Two days before NEET exam, the Supreme Court stayed a Madras High Court direction that asked CBSE to set up more centres in Tamil Nadu.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has now sent notices to the Tamil Nadu government and the CBSE over alleged hardships faced by students who had to travel long distances to write take the exam.
The commission in a statement today observed that the state government and CBSE authorities had "failed" to provide examination centres to aspirants within Tamil Nadu, resulting in hardships for not only students, but also their parents.
"The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report alleging that a lot of hardships were faced by young students, who had to travel across the state to write their NEET, organised by the Central Board of Secondary Education," the rights panel said in the statement.
"In one such incident, a 46-year-old man from Tamil Nadu, who had to travel a long distance of 500 km with his son to appear in the NEET at a centre in Kerala, died due to cardiac arrest on Sunday," the NHRC said.
According to the media report, carried today, a statement issued by the CBSE said that "at least 3,685 medical aspirants from Tamil Nadu had to travel out of state to take the exam".
The commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights.
"The students pass through tremendous pressure due to examination. It is the duty of the state to ensure that they should not be subjected to any kind of discomfort, while they are appearing for the entrance examinations," it said.
However, as per a news report, CBSE and NEET authorities have not commented on why they "failed to create enough exam centres within Tamil Nadu", the NHRC said.
"It is also mentioned that in the news report, the Tamil Nadu state government had announced on May 5 that every student from Tamil Nadu, who travelled to other state to appear for the NEET, will be given train fare in addition to monetary assistance of Rs 1,000 per candidate," the statement said.