The Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Department of Higher Education in response to an RTI, has stated that the responsibilities of administering select few higher education entrance examinations will be taken over from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) by the newly formed National Testing Agency.(NTA).
Kundan Nath, Under Secretary & Central Public Information Officer of the Technical Education Bureau, replied to the RTI on April 10 stating the following:
“In pursuance of the Budget Announcement 2017-18, the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 10.11.2017 approved creation of the National Testing Agency (NTA) as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions. The NTA would initially conduct those entrance examinations which are currently being conducted by the CBSE. It is envisaged that NTA will conduct the exams from 2019 onwards. Other examination will be taken up gradually after NTA is fully geared up. The entrance examinations will be conducted in online mode at least twice a year. Detailed modalities for the conduct of these examinations will be decided by NTA in due course.”
The Union Cabinet had set up the NTA in 2017 to conduct exams which are currently handled by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
The Budget Announcement of 2017 to 2018 allocated space for the NTA and an official statement released by Minister of State, Dr Satya Pal Singh said the following:
“The Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 10.11.2017 approved creation of the National Testing Agency (NTA) as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct all entrance examinations for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country.”
While it has been speculated that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) would be conducted by the NTA, it has not yet been confirmed which other exams would possibly be taken over by NTA from the CBSE.
NEET undergraduate and postgraduate exams have been conducted by the CBSE to grant students admission to various medical and dental colleges across India.
NEET was first introduced in 2013 with the undergraduate exams first held on May 5, 2013, replacing previously medical entrance exams such as All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) and other state level Pre Medical Tests (PMTs), with over 2 lakh students appearing for it.
The exams will be held twice a year, unlike now where they are held once annually, and will all be held online.
Details of the manner in which the NTA will implement and regulate examinations have yet to be released.
The NTA was set-up in 2017 with a government fund allocation of roughly 25 crore rupees, according to a report by NDTV.