Education Minister Prakash Javadekar has announced that the national level engineering and medical entrance examinations – JEE Main and NEET –will be held twice a year from 2019 in online mode. The minister announced this in a press conference in New Delhi today. According to the minister, Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main and National Eligibility cum Entrance Examination (NEET) will be held by newly formed examination conducting agency, National Testing Agency (NTA).
Apart from NEET and JEE Main, NTA will also conduct National Eligibility Test (NET), Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) and Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) exams from now on.
PTI reported that National Eligibility Test (NET) would be conducted in December and this would be the first exam to be conducted by the newly formed body.
These competitive exams will be held on multiple dates, the minister added.
JEE Main exams will be held in January and April while NEET will be held twice in February and May.
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is currently the nodal agency responsible for organising JEE Main and NEET examinations.
According to the minister, the candidates who will be appearing for these tests will be allowed to use the best score from the examinations in counselling process.
The minister also said that syllabus, question formats, language and fees for the exams would not be changed.
“The exams will be more secure and at par with international norms. There will be no issues of leakage and it would be more student friendly, open, scientific and a leak-proof system,” Mr. Javadekar told reporters.
“The NTA would benefit the students and they would have the option of going to computer centres from August-end to practice for the exams The tests would be computer-based,” he added.
The exams would be held over a span of four-five days and students would have the option of choosing the dates, he said.
The time table of the exams to be conducted by NTA would be uploaded on the ministry’s website.
However, the IITs would continue to conduct Joint Entrance Examination-Advanced exam.
National Testing Agency (NTA)
In pursuance of the Budget Announcement 2017-18, the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on November 10, 2017 approved creation of the NTA as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country.
In order to serve the requirements of the rural students, NTA would locate the centres at sub-district/district level and as far as possible would provide hands-on training to the students.
According to HRD Ministry, NTA will be chaired by an eminent educationist appointed by the ministry. The CEO of NTA will be the Director General to be appointed by the Government and 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.
According to a cabinet meeting decision, NTA will be given a one-time grant of Rs.25 crore from the Government of India to start its operation in the first year. Thereafter, it will be financially self-sustainable.
“Establishment of NTA will benefit about 40 lakh students appearing in various entrance examinations. It 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,” said a union cabinet statement earlier.
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