Hold engineering entrance exam JEE in Punjabi too: Punjab minister

Chandigarh, Dec 1 (PTI) Punjab Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa on Sunday demanded that the joint engineering entrance examination (main) should be held in Punjabi and other regional languages too.

The minister for the Punjab Higher Education and Languages made the demand in his letter to Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.

'The admission test was initially conducted in English, Hindi and Gujarati languages. On the demand by the different state governments, the Union Ministry, however, has decided that from 2021 this entrance test would be conducted in Assamese, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Urdu, Marathi, Oriya and Telugu as well,' Bajwa has written to the Union minister, said a Punjab government statement here.

The statement quoted the minister as saying that it is very unfortunate that Punjabi has not been included in this list 'which is a matter of clear discrimination towards this language'.

The Punjab minister said the JEE (Main) entrance test is an important test through which admissions are done in the country's leading engineering colleges, including IITs, for the engineering and architectural courses.

Earlier, this test was conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), but the Ministry of Human Resource Development now conducts this test through the National Testing Agency (NTA), he said.

Bajwa said that if Punjabi language is not included in the list of languages of this test, hundreds of students from Punjab would not be able to take admissions in the prestigious engineering colleges of the country.  'If this facility is not provided to students of the state, several of them would be forced to study in English or Hindi medium which would prove a major obstacle in the development of the Punjabi language,' he wrote.

He urged the Union minister to take immediate action to add Punjabi in the list of languages of the JEE (Main) entrance test.