Demanding inclusion of Odia language as a medium of examination in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention in the issue.
"I am constrained to seek your personal intervention in the matter for incorporating Odia as a medium of examination for the ensuing NEET in the larger interest of students of my state," Patnaik wrote to Modi.
Patnaik said six regional languages besides Hindi and English have been included as a medium of examination for NEET from the 2017-18 academic year, while "Odia language as a medium of examination for the students of Odisha, who will be appearing for the said test, has been conspicuously left out".
"This… will put students from Odisha, who have studied in Odia, at a great disadvantage," Patnaik said adding the decision of the Centre would provide a competitive advantage to students reading in six regional languages.
Patnaik also mentioned that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has not sought Odia as an option while taking views of the state government on the medium of language to be adopted for the students of Odisha.
"This has now created widespread resentment among the students of Odisha who will be appearing for the prestigious NEET in the academic year 2017-18 and onwards," Patnaik pointed out.
Meanwhile, the students' wing of the ruling BJD staged a dharna in front of the Raj Bhavan here demanding inclusion of Odia as a medium at the NEET.