In a latest tweet earlier this morning, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announced on the official Twitter handle that “JEE exam will be conducted in regional languages so that students are not at a disadvantage because of language“. The head of the Ministry of Education. The latest announcement comes as a confirmation to the fact that the Joint Entrance Examination for admission to UG engineering/architecture degree courses is to be conducted in more regional languages from now on. Till now, the JEE exam has been conducted by the NTA in three languages only i.e. English, Hindi and Gujarati.
Dr Pokhriyal, a Cabinet Minister at the Centre and the current Minister of Education tweeted earlier in October that about the decision of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) to conduct the JEE Main exam in more regional languages of India. The decision has been taken to pursue the vision of the NEP 2020 which includes consideration for introducing regional languages as a medium of instructions in education till at least Grade 5 and preferably up to Grade 8 and beyond.
There are similar National Level Entrance Exams that are already being conducted in more than three regional languages of India such as NEET. The National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test is held for admission to medical courses in Indian Universities and the exam is already conducted in English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Odia, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu languages.
From a different perspective, the decision to conduct the exam in all major regional languages has failed to appeal to the mass student community that is looking forward to sitting for the exam in 2021. Based on the replies received to the earlier Tweet by the Education Minister and its confirmation today, students are more interested in other aspects of the exam than language. For instance, students are requesting the Minister to postpone the exam to May 2021 and possibly set a low difficulty level question paper.
In the replies to the earlier tweet by the Minister in October 2020, students have expressed dissent related to the possibility of more errors in translation eventually leading to awarding of undesirable bonus marks. Others are perceiving the decision as a mere political prop with no virtual benefit for students since the medium of instructions in the Engineering colleges is English only.
It may be noted that institutions such as NITs, IITs and other CFTIs where admission to B.E., B.Tech, B.Arch and B.Plan courses is conducted on the basis of JEE Main score only impart learning in the English language. Thus, students have expressed that a grip in the language is a fundamental criterion to successfully pass Engineering courses after getting admission on the basis of JEE Main score.