In a move that is likely to benefit lakhs of medical and engineering aspirants, the government is planning to conduct Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Mains for admission into engineering colleges, and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission into medical courses twice a year. While the entrance examinations for the 2018-19 session were held earlier this year and results have been announced, the exams might be conducted again in December 2018.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) — Centre’s one-point agency for conducting all entrance examinations — will conduct the first test in December 2018, for the academic year 2019.
Minister of State for Human Resource Development (HRD) Upendra Kushwaha had informed the Lok Sabha last year that the NEET and JEE (MAINS) might be conducted twice a year. “The exams will be conducted online at least twice a year, thereby giving an adequate opportunity to the candidates to bring out their best,” Kushwaha had said.
The NTA was approved by Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2017. The NTA would work as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.
The NTA would initially conduct those entrance examinations which are currently being conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Both JEE (MAINS) and NEET are conducted by the CBSE.
In December 2017, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur was given the responsibility of setting up the agency to conduct JEE exam. First JEE(Mains) exam under its aegis will be conducted in December 2018.
“IIT Kanpur has already been assigned the task of setting up the agency and they have started with forming a team of subject experts in various fields and technical experts to design the question papers. The agency will be able to conduct the first examination in December next year,” a senior official said in November last year.
The agency will have people from the private sector as well including experts in particular subjects and IT experts to make sure that the tests are conducted online, in a hassle-free manner, sources had said.
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