BENGALURU: Following pressure from students and various organisations demanding inclusion of Kannada as a medium for candidates taking the Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE) Main, the state government and Kannada Development Authority (KDA) have approached the central government to consider the request positively. Now, applicants can chose between English, Hindi and Gujarati, which is considered a major hurdle for students from rural parts of the state to make it to dream campuses like IITs, NITs and other major technical institutes.
KDA Chariman S.G. Siddaramaiah has written to Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, requesting the ministry to include Kannada and other regional languages as well to bring in parity to aspirants from different regions of the country. He has stressed that states, including Karnataka, will look forward for a timely decision as the last date for application is January 1.
A higher education department official told Deccan Chronicle, “Minister Basavaraj Rayareddi has approved the letter and taken interest in sending it to the MHRD and CBSE (in charge of conducting the exam) including the recommendations made and concerns raised by students.”
Students from different parts of the state are making calls, writing letters and sending tweets to the Kannada Development Authority (KDA) and higher education department, requesting for inclusion of Kannada.
All-India Democratic Students Organisaion state vice-president Ravinandan B.B. said the Centre should consider conducting the exam in all official languages in the country, avoiding any discrimination among aspirants based on their regions and languages.
“The same issue came up in 2014 and then Marathi and Urdu were included. As Karnataka is a relatively advanced state and a large number of students are from rural areas, inclusion of Kannada is essential to judge the aspirants’ technical knowledge and not their language capabilities,” he said.
While the pen & paper-based exam for JEE (Main) is scheduled for April 8, the computer-based exam will be on April 15 and 16. Aspirants can choose exam centres in any of the 248 cities. Unlike last year when the exam was held only in Bengaluru, Mangaluru and Hubballi, this time it will be in 17 cities and towns across the state.