JEE Main Language Row: Students will soon be able to appear for the JEE Main examinations in the language of their choice. The government plans to conduct the JEE Main examinations in multiple languages as the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test. As per the Ministry of Human Resource Development, it is in consultation with the National Testing Agency and plans to conduct the entrance examination in all 22 regional languages.
HRD Secretary R Subramanyam said that unlike NEET which is conducted in the offline mode, the JEE Main examination is conducted in the computer-based mode and so there are technical limitations with respect to the medium of examination. He also added that the ministry is committed to conducting the JEE Main examinations in multiple languages and the process is expected to take some time. He also said that there is no plan at hand to withdraw Gujarati from 2021.
The examination was started in 2013 with the idea that all the states must admit their engineering students into the state colleges through JEE Main. Although the request for the same was sent in 2013 itself, only Gujarat responded by agreeing to admit their candidates in the engineering colleges through JEE Main. They also requested that the JEE Main paper must be made available to the students in the Gujarati language.
In 2014 however, Maharashtra also opted to admit engineering students through JEE Main examination for which the state requested the question papers to be provided in Marathi and Urdu.
Both the states in 2016 stopped the admission of engineering students through JEE Main and simultaneously NTA stopped providing the question papers in Marathi and Urdu. The state of Gujarat, however, requested that the NTA continue providing JEE Main question papers in Gujarati to its students. The NTA has also mentioned that other states have not approached the NTA with the request of providing the JEE Main question paper in the particular regional language.
The chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, however, has accused the centre of discriminating between the languages with respect to the medium of JEE Main. She said that the centre should have to take proposals from the states before selecting the regional languages as the medium for the examination.
She further added that she has no issue with the examination being conducted in Gujarati and added that it must also be held in Bengali. She also said that the state education minister has also written to the NTA on this issue to conduct the entrance exam in Bengali.
As of now, the JEE Main 2020 examination will be conducted in three languages viz. English, Hindi, and Gujarati. The students from Gujarat, Daman, and Diu, Nagar and Nagar Haveli will, however, have the option to attempt the exam in English, Hindi, and Gujarati.