- The National Testing Agency, which is being set up to relieve the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) of the burden of conducting multiple examinations, will also train paper setters to set better question papers and provide better model answers.
- In view of the need to have a specialized body in India like the most advanced countries, the Finance Minister in the Budget speech of 2017-18 had announced setting up of a National Testing Agency (NTA) as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct all entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.
National Testing Agency (NTA)
- National Testing Agency (NTA) will be created as a Society registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860.
- It will be an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.
- The agency’s mandate is to put in place a robust system for the conduct of examinations.
- The NTA would initially conduct those entrance examinations which are currently being conducted by the CBSE.
- Eventually, the new body will take over all examinations from the CBSE, except the 10th and 12th board examinations.
- Other examinations will be taken up gradually after NTA is fully geared up.
- Among the examinations that will be transferred to the NTA is the prestigious Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission to engineering colleges like the IITs and NITs and the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to all medical colleges in the country, except AIIMS and JIPMER, Puducherry.
- NTA will also train paper setters to set better question papers and provide better model answers. There is no system for paper-setter training till now.
Mode of examination
- The entrance examinations will be conducted in online mode at least twice a year, thereby giving adequate opportunity to candidates to bring out their best.
- In order to serve the requirements of the rural students, it would locate the centres at sub-district/district level and as far as possible would undertake hands-on training to the students.
- NTA will be chaired by an eminent educationist appointed by MHRD.
- The CEO will be the Director General to be appointed by the Government.
- 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.
- 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.
- It will also bring in high reliability, standardized difficulty level for assessing the aptitude, intelligence and problem solving abilities of the students.