We may soon have an independent body that conducts all seven of the national-level entrance tests, along the lines of the Educational Testing Service in the United States. The Ministry of Human Resource Development has moved a note in this regard, reports Ritika Chopra for the Indian Express.
Currently, higher education entrance examinations like CAT, JEE, GATE and NEET are conducted every year by different boards like the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). The catch here is that conducting these tests is not part of the primary mandate for any of these boards. The boards have, as a result, come under pressure, as evident from the CBSE’s writing to the University Grants Commission about being overburdened.
This idea is far from new, as it was proposed by several governments before the current National Democratic Alliance government but not taken to its logical end. This is now an attempt to revise the plan. The National Testing Service (NTS) will reportedly be set up under the Indian Societies Act by June 2017, and is set to begin by conducting NEET, JEE, GATE, UGC-NET from October 2017 to March 2018, as per the Indian Express report. The NTS will be self-reliant from the exam fees paid by over 40 lakh students taking the tests each year. It will, however, receive a grant of Rs 50 crore at the start to get it up and running.
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