The Union cabinet has cleared a proposal for the creation of a National Testing Agency (NTA), which will be the agency to conduct all entrance tests that are at present being done by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) reported HT .
“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 added.
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, the release said. Relieving the CBSE, AICTE, IITs, IIMs and other agencies from the responsibility of conducting these entrance tests will help them to focus more on their core activities. The agency will also bring in high reliability, standardised difficulty level to assess the aptitude, intelligence and problem-solving abilities of the students.
The NTA will receive a one-time grant of Rs. 25 crore from the Centre to start its operation. Thereafter, it will function on a self-sustaining model. HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said on much-needed educational reform, “Creation of National Testing Agency , 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.”