Entrance exams like JEE Main and NEET and many other tests is likely to be held by single testing body for the admission year 2019 as the Union Cabinet has approved creation of a National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct such admission tests to higher educational institutions, so far being conducted by CBSE, AICTE and other government bodies.
The testing agency to be established
with assistance of a 25-crore fund by the central government for its foundation year, has been envisioned as a self-sustainable autonomous body responsible for all tests like JEE Main, NEET, UGC-NET, CTET etc.
The cabinet approval for NTA came in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 10, 2017.
NTA to bring high reliability and standardized difficulty for assessment
The agency will create all the systematic arrangement for conducting standardised and high quality test with making the testing system available in multiple cities and also the rural areas.
According to the government officials, “Establishment of NTA will relieve CBSE, AICTE and other agencies from responsibility of conducting these entrance examinations, and also bring in high reliability, standardized difficulty level for assessing the aptitude, intelligence and problem solving abilities of the students.”
Establishment of NTA will benefit about 40 lakh students appearing in various entrance examinations, they added.
The NTA will begin by overtaking the tests like JEE Main and NEET conducted by Central Board of Secondary Examination. Gradually, the agency will take control of all the tests conducted by AICTE or any other government agency.
NTA key features:
- The NTA would initially conduct those entrance examinations which are currently being conducted by the CBSE.
- Other examinations will be taken up gradually after NTA is fully geared up.
- The entrance examinations will be conducted in online mode at least twice a year, thereby giving adequate opportunity to candidates to bring out their best.
- In order to serve the requirements of the rural students, it would locate the centres at sub-district/district level and as far as possible would undertake hands-on training to the students.
- NTA will be chaired by an eminent educationist appointed by MHRD.
- The CEO will be the Director General to be appointed by the Government.
- There will be a Board of Governors comprising members from user institutions.
- The Director General will be assisted by 9 verticals headed by academicians/ experts.
In view of the need to have a specialized body in India like the most advanced countries, the Finance Minister in the Budget speech of 2017-18 had announced setting up of a National Testing Agency (NTA) as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct all entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) will be created as a Society registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860, and as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.