Bhubaneswar, Dec 26:

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday requested Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda to include Odia language as a medium of examination in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical colleges.

Dharmendra Pradhan Bhubaneswar

Pradhan requested an additional option to the students to appear in either English or Odia in the NEET examination.

“This will ensure meritorious students from the state are not adversely affected on account of their lack of expertise in English,” he said in a letter to his cabinet colleague.

The Health Ministry has included six regional languages as a medium of examination in NEET. These are Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.

Slamming the Odisha government for failing to protect the interest of the students in the state, Pradhan said the exclusion of the Odia language is solely attributable to the state government which failed to protect the interest of the state’s students.

“Though the decision to this effect was taken by your Ministry through an elaborate consultative process, the government of Odisha did not avail of the opportunities in articulating the aspirations of the students from Odisha.

“To cover up their failure in this regard, the state government has resorted to raising the matter with the Central government at this stage and thereby, misleading the people of the state,” he said in his letter. (IANS)