The Joint Admission Board (JAB) for 23 IITs on Thursday decided that the computer-based JEE-Main for admission to engineering colleges across the country will be conducted in more regional languages from next year. The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)-Main, which is also an eligibility test for the JEE-Advanced for admission to the IITs is currently offered in English, Hindi and Gujarati.
Taking to Twitter, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank said it is in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. "In line with the vision of #NEP2020, the Joint Admission Board (JAB) of #JEE (Main) has decided to conduct the JEE (Main) examination in more regional languages of India."
The Education Minister said the examination will also be conducted in regional languages where entry to State Engineering Colleges will be decided based on an examination (conducted in regional language). State language of states who admit students based on the JEE (Main) will also be included under this.
He further said that the decision was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi pointed out that top-scoring countries in PISA examination use mother tongue as a medium of instruction. "The decision of JAB will help students comprehend questions better and score higher," the minister added.
While addressing a webinar on 'National Education Policy 2020' recently, Pokhriyal had said, "We are not against English but the mother tongue as a medium of education would help strengthen Indian languages."
The education minister also said that government does not intend to impose any language on any state. "We are in favour of strengthening 22 Indian languages and we want to promote all these languages," he had added.
According to National Testing Agency (NTA) officials, the regional languages in which the test will be offered are yet to be decided.
"The exam will be offered in those regional languages in which the states are already conducting their local entrance exams for engineering.
More languages will be added following whichever states are part of the JEE-Main and wants their language to be included in the test," an official said.
Last year, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while questioning the inclusion of Gujarati as a medium of writing the exam, demanded inclusion of other regional languages.
The Ministry of Education had then clarified it has been offering the test in Gujarati following a request from the state and said that the test will be offered in all the 11 languages from 2021.
The ministry also asked NTA to explore the possibility of offering the competitive exams in as many languages as possible.
(With PTI inputs)