Academics have expressed their disappointment with the conduct of the Prime Minister’s Dynamic India Scholarship Scheme (PM YASASVI), also known as YET (YASAVI Entrance Test) in English and Hindi only .

PM YASASVI implemented by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment plans to extend 15,000 scholarships to eligible students under Other Backward Classes, Backward Economic Classes and Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (DNT) . Highest ranked students in Class IX or XI whose parent/guardian annual income does not exceed ₹2.5 lakh are eligible for the scholarship which entitles ₹75,000 for Class IX and X and ₹1.25 lakh per year for classes XI and XII – covering school/hostel fees.

“There are eligible beneficiaries all over the country. The denial of equal opportunities is an injustice to students from non-Hindi states,” said S. Sivakumar, an educationist and former director of the Institute of Education and training center of Kancheepuram district.

State board students are also disadvantaged for other reasons. Because, the exam is based on the NCERT books which form the core of the curriculum for students under the CBSE model.

The application process ran from July 27 to August 26, and the exam to be held by the National Testing Agency is scheduled for September 11. The computer-based test with multiple-choice questions lasts three hours. Of 100 questions, each with four points, 30 relate to mathematics, 20 to science, 25 to social science and 25 to general knowledge.

Of the 15,000 scholarships, 1,547 places are for Tamil Nadu. But, public school students following the Tamil language of instruction are out of the question as they will only be able to take the exam if it is conducted in the regional language.

“Language cannot be a yardstick for testing the scientific temperament of students; aptitude for scientific inquiry goes beyond language. Also, it is in the mother tongue that a child develops his or her personal identity, social and cultural. Using the mother tongue helps children develop critical thinking and literacy skills. Research has proven that children who learn in the mother tongue have a better understanding of the school curriculum,” said Ms. Sivakumar.

Brilliant public school students stand to lose a lot as there is another sub-program under the PM YASAVI which extends the possibility of further studies beyond Plus Two.

Including IIMs, IITs, IIITs, AIIMS, NITs, NIFTs, NIDs, Indian Institutes of Hotel Management, National Law Universities and other central government institutions, approximately 259 institutions have been shortlisted for the distribution of 15,000 slots.

Students gaining admissions into any of these institutions will be awarded a scholarship to meet the requirements of full tuition and non-refundable fees up to a cap of ₹2 lakh per year as well as living expenses of ₹3,000 per month, ₹5,000 for books and stationery and one-time support of ₹45,000 for latest computer/laptop.