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    JEE Main 2020: MHRD Plans to Conduct Exam in Multiple Languages

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    Speculations are round the corner that National Test Agency (NTA) is planning to conduct JEE Main in multiple languages. The demand has come up on the lines of NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test). Both, the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) and NTA are in consultation to make the exam multilingual.

    • NTA conducts JEE Main twice a year.
    • The paper is conducted in English and Hindi, along with one regional language Gujarati (as clarified by NTA that the paper is translated into Gujarati only as no other state approached NTA to conduct paper in other regional languages).
    • Preference will be given to the regional languages of the states with a high number of applicants.
    • Marathi and Telugu may be the first two regional languages to be added. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in total comprised of 1.6 lakh applicants, followed by Maharashtra with 1.1 lakh applicants in April 2019.
    • Demand to include Bengali as a regional language for JEE Main has been raised recently by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee.
    • When CBSE was the conducting body of JEE Main, the question paper was available in Marathi, Gujarati, and Urdu.
    • Marathi and Urdu were withdrawn in 2016.

    JEE Main is one of the most sought after engineering exams after class 12. With demands being raised from other states to conduct exam in multiple languages, the Central Government along with National Testing Agency is preparing to conduct the exam in all 22 languages. However, from which year will this be implemented has not been specified as JEE Main is an online-based test and converting it into multiple languages may require a lot of time to develop suitable software.

    As per HRD Secretary R Subramanyam, there are technical limitations attached to NTA, unlike NEET which is a purely offline mode examination.

    “Since JEE Main is held in CBT mode, there are some limitations which need to be addressed first. We are committed to conducting JEE Main in multiple languages and the process will take time”

    Also, the HRD Secretary ruled out all rumors regarding the removal of Gujarati as a JEE Main language.

    As per a recent release by NTA, JEE Main started in 2013, and requests were sent to all states in 2013 itself. However, only Gujarat responded to the request and agreed to admit it’s students through JEE Main (score). Further in 2014, Maharashtra also agreed to request of accepting JEE Main score after which Marathi and Urdu were incorporated into the circle. But the two languages (Marathi and Urdu) were withdrawn in 2016.

    Now with recent tweets by West Bengal CM, the issue has gained an upsurge.

    She tweets,

    “Our country is India, which is home to so many religions, cultures, languages, creeds and communities… However, maligning all regions and regional languages is the intention of the government at the Centre…. Why injustice is being meted out to them?”

    JEE Main is scheduled for January 6-11, 2020 (First session) and from April 9 to 13, 2020 (Second session). According to JEE 2020 notification, the question papers will be set in English, and Hindi, but for Union Territories like Daman and Diu, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, the medium of the paper will be English, Hindi, and Gujarati.

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