New Delhi: Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday announced that the newly constituted National Testing Agency (NTA) would start conducting NEET, JEE (Mains) and NET entrance exams, which are currently organised by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), from the upcoming academic session.
Addressing a press conference, Javadekar said the National Eligibility Test (NET) would be conducted in December, the JEE (Mains) would be conducted in January and April, and NEET would be held in February and May.
Students can appear for JEE and NEET twice a year and the best score will be considered for admission.
The JEE (Advanced) will continue to be conducted by the IITs.
The NTA would also conduct National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) and Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT), Javadekar said.
The Union minister added that all these exams would be computer-based and that students can practice at home or at authorised computer centres free of cost. The details of such centres would be announced soon.
Javadekar said the syllabus, question format, language and fees won't change. Each exam will be conducted on four to five dates.
He assured that the format would be immune to cheating and leaks since it’s computer-based. Reminded that the Class 10 examinations, too, were computer-based but plagued by cheating scandals, Javadekar said the NTA module doesn’t allow screen-sharing.
He added, "The exams will be more secure and at par with international norms. There will be no issues of leakage and it would be more student friendly, open, scientific and a leak-proof system."
“These examinations will use highly secured IT software and encryption to ensure delivery of tests just in time. This will ensure no leakages and other malpractices,” a press release by the ministry said.
“NTA will establish a network of test practice centres for students of rural areas so that everyone will have an opportunity to practice before the exam. Schools/engineering colleges with computer centres would be identified and kept open on Saturday/Sunday starting from 3rd week of August. Any student can use the facility free of charge,” it added.
As per the press release, the following is the tentative schedule:
UGC-NET in December 2018
JEE (Mains) in January 2019 and April 2019
NEET (UG) in February 2019 and May 2019
CMAT & GPAT in January 2019
In Budget speech 2017-18, Union minister Arun Jaitley had announced the setting up of the NTA "as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher educational institutions".
The Union cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had in November last year approved the setting up of the NTA.
So far, The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducted NEET on behalf of the Medical Council Of India and the Health Ministry and NET on behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC).