Soon, National Testing Agency to conduct all entrance exams done by CBSE
The Union cabinet on Friday cleared a proposal for the creation of a National Testing Agency (NTA), which will conduct all entrance tests that are at present being done by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
“The NTA would initially conduct those entrance examinations that are currently being conducted by the CBSE. Other examinations will be taken up gradually by the NTA,” said an official statement.
Under the NTA, the entrance examinations will be conducted online at least twice a year, to give adequate opportunity to the candidates to bring out their best, the statement further said.
Apart from Class 10 and Class 12 board exams, CBSE conducts five other tests — Joint Engineering Entrance (JEE), National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET, for medical courses), University Grants Commission’s National Eligibility Test (for lectureship, held twice a year), Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET, held twice a year) and the test for Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (schools for gifted students).
To serve the requirements for rural students, the NTA will locate centres at sub-district and district level and undertake hands-on training programmes.
Establishment of NTA will benefit about 4 million students appearing in various entrance examinations. It will, over time, relieve the CBSE, AICTE, IITs, IIMs and other agencies from the responsibility of conducting these entrance tests, thus enabling them to focus more on their core mandate.
The agency will also bring in high reliability, standardised difficulty level to assess the aptitude, intelligence and problem-solving abilities of the students.
The statement released after the cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the NTA will be created as a society registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860, and as an autonomous and self-sustaining premier testing organisation to conduct entrance tests for higher educational institutes.
The NTA will comprise a chairman (an eminent educationist appointed by the ministry of human resource development); a CEO who will be the director general and appointed by the Centre; and a board of governors comprising members from user institutions. The director general will be assisted by nine verticals headed by academicians and experts.
The NTA will receive a one-time grant of ~25 crore from the Centre to start its operation. Thereafter, it will function on a self-sustaining model.
Keeping in view the need for a specialised body like most advanced countries, finance minister Arun Jaitley had in his Budget speech of 2017-18 announced setting up of the NTA as “an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher educational institutions”.
Terming the approval a historic decision and a much-needed educational reform, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said, “Creation of NationalTestingAgency , a single agency to conduct all entrance exams, with experts on board, will bring in high reliability, standardised assessing aptitude & conduct of tamper-proof exams.”