With the introduction of NTA, NEET – the national level medical entrance exam and JEE – national level engineering entrance exam might be conducted twice a year to give an opportunity to the students to bring out their best performance. The Centre is setting up a National Testing Agency (NTA), an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation, to conduct the entrance exams for the higher educational institutions.
The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) is held for admission to medical and dental colleges while Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) is conducted for admission to engineering colleges. Currently both the exams along with several other exams are organised by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
10 things to know about National Testing Agency:
- The Finance Minister in the budget speech of 2017-18 had announced that a national body will be set up which will be responsible for conducting entrance examinations for higher education.
- Government has allocated a fund of Rs. 25 crore for NTA to begin operation in the first year. From its second year, the agency will become self-sustainable.
- Some of the exams which would be conducted by NTA will be JEE Main, NEET UG, UGC NET, CTET, etc.
- The exams will be conducted online and will likely be conducted twice a year. So far entrance exams like JEE Main or NEET UG is conducted only once a year. The prospect of the entrance exams twice a year will bring relief to students who often have to face undue pressure especially for exams like JEE and NEET which are conducted immediately after the board exams are over.
- The agency would function as an autonomous body and will be chaired by an educationist who will be appointed by the MHRD.
- The agency will have a board of governors who will represent the member institutions.
- NTA will be created as a society registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860.
- The agency would cater to about 40 lakh students who appear in various entrance exams.
- NTA will ensure that exams have a standardized difficulty level.
- It is also expected that setting up NTA will help avoid conflicts about varying levels of difficulty in different sets of question paper.
JEE Main, NEET might be conducted twice a year, most likely from 2019.The first and foremost benefit of NTA would be the conduct of JEE Main and NEET examinations twice a year in an online format. The twice a year model for chief entrance examinations would help students to pace their studies and most importantly give them an additional opportunity to appear without wasting their year. The examinations are at present conducted in the months of April and May, which are just after the board examinations for class 12th. The twice a year may give students the time to pace their preparations, which is bound to benefit students immensely.