The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) that acts as an entry point to some of Indian premier engineering institutes including the IITs, has always been an unilingual (read: English only) examination. However, this year was different as the exam was conducted in four additional regional languages : Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and Urdu.
But now when the results are out, a distinctly visible pattern has emerged – a pattern that may damper the demands for the civil services exam to be conducted in all regional languages. Apparently, it turns out, JEE candidate who opted for regional languages fared rather poorly compared to candidates who opted for English.
While the success rate of candidates preferring English stood at 12.57 per cent, those preferring Gujarati, Hindi and Marathi were 11.05, 9.21 and 3.03 per cent respectively. The worst performance was by those who chose Urdu (0.66 per cent). Sources revealed that candidates who opted for Marathi and Urdu were mostly from poor families and studied in government schools.
“English-medium teaching is a bit of a calamity in Gujarat; so a large number of bright students from well-off families there study science in the local tongue,” said Satyan Narayanan, CEO of Career Launcher, while explaining the impressive success rate of candidates who took the exam in Gujarati.
With these data out, the ongoing efforts of teaching engineering in regional languages have been depicted in rather poor light. In addition, these results may also complicate the ongoing efforts to open up the civil services exam to all regional languages – a move that has been widely criticized by experts across the country.