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HRD wants National Testing Service for all higher education entrance exams

Several governments in the past have proposed and, subsequently, shelved the idea of establishing the NTS.

Written by Ritika Chopra | New Delhi | Updated: January 7, 2017 11:07 am
cbse, HRD, hrd ministry, neet 2017, jeemain, iitjee, iit, hrd ministry news, cbse date sheet 2017, HRD-ETS, entrance tests for higher education, National Testing Service, CAT, JEE, NEET, India news, Indian Express Currently, the CBSE organises JEE (Main), UGC-NET and NEET apart from the board examinations for Classes X and XII every year

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has moved a note for the Cabinet to set up an independent body dedicated to entrance tests for higher education, on the lines of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in the United States.

Currently, over 40 lakh students appear for seven entrance tests — CAT, JEE (Main), JEE (Advanced), GATE, CMAT, NEET, NET — conducted by the CBSE, IITs, IIMs and AICTE every year. The National Testing Service (NTS), as proposed by the HRD Ministry, will assume responsibility for conducting all these examinations.

“The primary mandate of bodies such as CBSE and AICTE does not include conducting entrance exams on such a large scale. This leaves them stretched for time and resources. In the US, this task is assigned to ETS,” a ministry official said.

Several governments in the past have proposed and, subsequently, shelved the idea of establishing the NTS. The Programme of Action, 1992 for implementation of the National Policy on Education, 1986 advocated the setting up of a National Testing Service. Successive committees like the National Knowledge Commission (2006-2009) and the Ashok Misra Committee on review of JEE system (2015) recommended constituting an independent body for the conduct of the examinations.

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The Ministry is now making a fresh attempt to revive the plan after the CBSE wrote to the University Grants Commission about being overburdened with the responsibility of too many entrance tests. Currently, the board organises JEE (Main), UGC-NET and NEET apart from the board examinations for Classes X and XII every year.

Sources said the note for the Cabinet proposes to set up the NTS as a society under the Indian Societies Act by June 2017. To begin with, the NTS will hold NEET, JEE, GATE, UGC-NET from October 2017 to March 2018. The Ministry invited comments on the proposal from different ministries in December. It will send the note for the Cabinet’s consideration as soon as the idea is approved by the Committee on Establishment Expenditure.

The Ministry expects that the examination fee paid by 40 lakh students should make NTS fully self-reliant and financially independent to meet all administrative and operational expenses. This body will be subjected to a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) audit. Initially, the government will provide a one-time grant of Rs 50 crore for NTS to start operation. It will have a governing council and a director general.

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  1. H
    Harish Sharma
    Jan 7, 2017 at 3:49 am
    Good news
    1. M
      Jan 7, 2017 at 1:23 am
      There also should be National Testing Tervice for all MPs and CMs who are supposed to represent people. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;This test should be in the form of NARCO ANALYSIS TEST, which obviously will eliminate Rahul hi, Sonia hi or even Crazywall for causing unnecessary wasting public time and resources!!lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;This is important to determine whether they are of sound mind to represent millions of people. Even in a family if a child is not of sound mind the parent can not depend on him/her, how millions can depend on a person if he or she is of unsound mind? See wastage caused by Mamata, Crazywall or even Rahul when it comes to cost ociated with administration, lost times in public dealings (Parliament Time e.g.), safety and security in direct and indirect expenses!
      1. L
        L.N.S. Thakur,
        Jan 7, 2017 at 5:38 am
        Welcome step.Long overdue.Better late than never.
        1. S
          Jan 7, 2017 at 3:02 am
          good move.
          1. M
            Jan 7, 2017 at 2:14 am
            It is a good idea. Also, there should be a single test for engineering all over India like NEET for medical in India and SAT in US.
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