Along with JEE and NEET, the NET exam will also be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Previously, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) used to conduct the JEE, UGC NET and NEET exams.
The notification for UGC National Eligibility Test i.e. NET has been issued; the test will be held in December. The NTA will, incidentally, also shoulder the responsibility of conducting other entrance examinations.
So what is the NTA and what is its role going to be?
What Is the National Testing Agency?
For the past few years, there have been discussions about creating an agency to conduct entrance examinations in the country. The NTA was created by the HRD ministry for this very purpose. The cabinet gave approval for the NTA in November 2017.
It has been formed to initiate major reforms in the country’s educational system.
Recently, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the NTA will work to improve entrance examinations – a service that is starting this year.
The NTA, along with UGC, AICTE, IIT, universities, school boards and state governments will help in promoting research and higher education.
Which Exams Will NTA Conduct?
Joint Entrance Examination (JEE-Mains) for Admission in Engineering Colleges, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission in Medical Course, Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) for Management Course, Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) for admission in Pharmacy Course as well as the UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) for Teaching and Fellowship in College and University will now be conducted by the NTA. Till now, the CBSE had been conducting examinations like JEE, NEET, UGC NET. But, JEE Advance for admission in IITs will be conducted by IIT.
With time, this testing agency is expected to be given the responsibility of conducting many more entrance exams, since it has been created to conduct all entrance examinations in a timely and organised manner.
When Will the Exams Be Held?
NTA will now conduct the UGC Net exam twice a year in July and December. Meanwhile, the JEE (Men’s) examination will be held in January and April. Students can appear for both JEE exams. The admission will be based on the higher score.
There had been discussions to hold the NEET exam – for admission to medical colleges – twice a year as well. But after objections from the Health Ministry, it was decided that the exam would be held just once a year – in May.
Will There Be Any Changes in Syllabus or the Examination Pattern?
As far as the syllabus, question format and language are concerned, there have been no changes to them this time. They will be the same as before. But some changes have been made in the examination pattern. Until now, the UGC NET exam was paper-based, but this time it will be online.
JEE (Main), CMAT and GPAT exams will be also be computer-based. But the NEET exam for medical will still be on paper.
How Will This Impact Students?
Nearly 13 lakh students sit for the NEET exams, while usually about 12 lakh students appear for JEE Mains and UGC NET, each. About one lakh students sit for CMAT while 40,000 appear for GPAT.
The futures of all these students hinge on the exams being conducted at the right time, without any leaks, and the results coming out on time. But they are often met with disappointment. But now, if the government’s claims are to be believed, the NTA has overcome all these problems.
Will CBSE’s Burden Be Reduced?
CBSE has many responsibilities which pertain to the preparing of academic courses, recognition of schools and conducting the 10th and 12th standard examinations.
Because of the load on CBSE, the NET could not be conducted at the right time. At the same time, CBSE’s main work was also being affected due to these entrance examinations. Now, with NTA conducting these tests, the burden on CBSE will surely be reduced and the latter will be able to focus entirely on school education.
Source : The Quint
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