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NEET UG-2018: Madras HC Directs Additional 196 Marks To Candidates Who Took Exam In Tamil Due To Mistranslation Of Questions [Read Order]

Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) to award 196 marks to candidates who wrote this year’s National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) in Tamil, in order to make up for 49 mis-translated questions.

The Bench comprising Justice C.T. Selvam and Justice A.M. Basheer Ahamed ruled, “We are of the view that students who have taken the NEET-2018 examination in Tamil medium suitably should be compensated to provide them a level playing field.”

The order was issued on a petition filed by Communist Party of India (Marxist) MP TK Rangarajan, who had alleged that 49 out of the total 180 questions had been wrongly translated from English to Tamil.

In order to bolster his contentions, Mr. Rangarajan had submitted a note before the Court with a table of the erroneously translated questions, alongside their correct translations. While he had also rallied against NEET altogether in his petition, the Court restricted its consideration to the question of grant of grace marks to students.

The Bench refused to accept CBSE’s contention that they have no role to play, except for conducting the examination and declaring the results. It in fact opined that CBSE had an obligation to inform the students about the meaning of respective medical terms, if their English names were being used.

It observed, “We would think that if medical terms in English used by experts may be used in question papers, then CBSE had an obligation to inform the students community what the respective medical term meant/relates to.

English, is to us a Foreign language. It is common knowledge that save for those who have had the good fortune of studying in elitist English medium schools, the average knowledge of English even of one who has gone through school in the English medium of study, generally is just about adequate. Can a student, who all through his school years has studied in the Tamil medium and in all probability given to ‘nibbling at the edges’ in so far as English is concerned, be told that in case the question in Tamil is ambiguous, the English version would be treated as final. We think not.”

Besides, the Court also rejected CBSE’s assertion that teachers would have knowledge of the relevant technical terms and would have taught the same to the students. Thereafter, allowing the petitions, the Court ruled, “We directed the 2nd respondent/ CBSE to grant 4 marks for each of the 49 erroneous questions, that is in all 196 marks to the candidates who took the MEET (UG)-2018-19 examination in Tamil medium.”

CBSE has now been directed to publish a revised list of qualified candidates within two weeks, during which the counselling has been directed to be kept in abeyance.

Read the Order Here

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  • Anupam Garg says:

    This is total nuisance decision. Is it guaranteed that all 49 questions even if translated correctly will be marked correct by those students ? I think tamilians should not mess up the process and should be honest. If those students doesn’t know English, how will they survive in colleges. As of now no book is available in regional languages.
    Tamilians and Tamil court should rethink on the decision.

  • athira gopakumar says:

    this is total nuisance. this is not the first time that tamilians have messed up with the system . what do they think of other students . I don’t intend to be harsh but take an example. say ‘coronary thrombus ‘ does not have a sufficient word replacement in local languages , does that mean CBSE should provide equivalent definition when a question is asked regarding what is coronary thrombus?. then there isn’t any relevance for such a question.

    to any Tamilian who is reading this , I request you to not mess with other kids life. unlike you they’ve put a lot of effort into it . this is a national allotment issue don’t cause nuisance again . as Dr vikram has pointed consider your percentile marks.

  • Dr Vikram Tirkey says:

    I respect the decision of the High Court, Tamil Nadu. But instead of giving 4 marks each to the problematic 49 questions in NEET; the percentage & percentile of the rest of 131 answers to the total of 180 questions should be considered.
    Student as low as 96 marks have got a seat. So 196 marks is way high. In addition to the marks obtain by Tamil students, these 196 marks will take them at the top.
    It means none of the Tamil students would have wrong answers to any of those 49 questions!
    I suggest, the court needs to re-think. Thank you.

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