Following the central government's decision to hold the NEET exam for all states once every six months beginning next academic year, Tamil Nadu expressed its opposition to the change. Speaking to media persons in Coimbatore, Minister for School Education in the State, KA Sengottiyan said that students would not have enough time to prepare for the exam if it was being held once every 6 months.
"Usually when centre rolls out a new plan, state governments participate and give opinions. Our opinion is that it should be conducted annually. We will request our CM to submit a letter to the Prime Minister and the respective ministry officials. Only if it is conducted once a year it will be possible for our students (to study and attempt the exam). Six month period will be too short for them," he said.
The response comes after Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday announced that JEE Mains and NEET -- the two national level engineering and medical entrance examinations -- will be held twice a year from 2019 by a newly-formed National Testing Agency (NTA).
The NTA was approved by the Union Cabinet in November 2017 as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions to bring in major reforms in the examination system.
"The National Testing Agency will conduct them this year. The same student can take the exam both times a year and the best score will be counted," Javadekar said.
He said all examinations under the NTA will be online. "Computer centres will be set up where students with no access to computers can practise from August-end or September."
JEE Main exams will be held in January and April while NEET will be held twice in February and May, Javadekar told reporters. The nodal agency responsible for JEE Main and NEET examinations was the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). It will now be transferred to the National Testing Agency, the minister announced.
(With inputs from IANS)