According to the Times of India, Marathi-speaking candidates have a record of achieving better scores in the prestigious International English Language Testing System (IELTS) compared to candidates who have other Indian languages as their mother tongue, according to an analysis by the British Council.
At second and third places are the Malayalam and Tamil-speaking candidates, with regards to academic knowledge of the language; Telugu as well as Hindi-speaking citizens are in second spot in general training.
After the Bengali-speaking candidates, Gujarati and Punjabi-speaking candidates are at the seventh and eighth positions respectively, among the eight Indian languages.
IELTS is the one of the most sough-after English language tests in the world. It is offered in over 1,000 locations worldwide.
More than 2 million candidates write the IELTS tests every year. Hence, clearing it is a challenge for students all over the world who aspire to pursue higher education overseas.
IELTS test consists of four sections, namely, listening, reading, writing and speaking. British Council offers expert assistance to students to prepare for the test, by providing books, videos and online interactive courses.
In 2013, an analysis of examinees in English proficiency was done based on the first language selected by the candidates for the 40 top first languages.
Out of the eight Indian languages which featured among the top 40, the mean scores of test-takers with Marathi as their first language were better in academic version as well as the general training version of the test.
The academic version is meant for students aspiring for admission in institutes for higher studies as well as for professionals, while general training is for candidates seeking to go overseas for professional experience.
According to officials of Mumbai University, Marathi-speaking students do not have any specific advantage in the English language; proficiency also depends on where the test-takers hail from - since the ones from the urban areas are likely to score better.
Moreover, the overall number of candidates taking the test from each region also determines if there is a particular pattern, the officials added.
A majority of the Indians perform well in the proficiency test, with some scoring marginally better others, as per officials of British Council.
The British Council has increased the number of IELTS awards for Indian students from 8 to 10, according to an announcement during the launch of the IELTS awards for 2015.
According to officials of the British Council, the objective of the IELTS awards is to help Indian students pursue their higher studies overseas, once the students prove their English language aptitude with IELTS.
In the last five years, 40 students from India have been granted the British Council IELTS Awards. Last year, eight students from India bagged IELTS Scholarships of INR 300,000 each towards tuition fees.
The council has also launched a mobile application (app) called "IELTS 1001 ways" to help students excel in the IELTS.