The Central Board of Secondary Education has refused to take blame for errors in the Tamil translation of NEET questions, saying it had entrusted the job to translators provided by the State government.

The Board has approached the Supreme Court in appeal against the Madras High Court direction to grant grace marks to students who attended the NEET-UG exam in Tamil.

HC fiat

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had ordered the CBSE to grant 196 marks — four marks each for 49 erroneous questions — in the Tamil version of this year’s NEET to those who took the exam in the regional language.

Passing the orders on a public interest litigation petition, the High Court had directed the CBSE to consequently revise the list of eligible candidates and publish it afresh.

The Board has argued that grant of grace marks would tantamount to discrimination and result in a chaotic situation.

It said that to avoid any hiccups or ambiguity, the question papers are prepared in English and handed over to translators recommended by the State of Tamil Nadu for the purpose.

Students who appear in the test can simultaneously read both the English and Tamil versions of the questions. The objective of the exercise is to conduct the test with utmost transparency. In case of any ambiguity in translation of any of the questions, its English version shall be treated as final.

The petitioner in the High Court, senior CPI(M) leader and Rajya Sabha MP, T.K. Rangarajan, had sought full marks for the 49 questions, saying key words in Tamil questions were wrongly translated from English and this caused confusion.

There were 180 questions with a total marks of 720 in the NEET.

The CBSE conducted the NEET on May 6 in 136 cities in 11 languages, the results of which were announced on June 4. In Tamil Nadu, about 1.07 lakh candidates took the test across 170 centres in 10 cities. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case on Friday.

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