The National Testing Agency (NTA) will now be provided additional charge to conduct entrance examinations for admissions to universities across the country, according to the New Education Policy (NEP) released on Wednesday. The NTA already conducts the all-India engineering entrance exam – JEE Main, medical entrance exam – NEET, JNUEE, DUET, UGC NET, and other entrance examinations,
As per the new policy, the entrance exam to be conducted by the NTA for admission to universities and colleges will be optional. The new system has some similarities to standardised aptitude test, SAT conducted for admissions in the United States of America.
The new policy marks a significant shift in the format of undergraduate education with the reintroduction of the four-year multidisciplinary bachelor’s programme with exit options. While the three-year traditional BA, BSc, as well as BVoc degrees will continue, under the four-year programme students can exit after one year with a certificate, after two years with a diploma and a Bachelor’s degree after three years.
“The 4-year programme may also lead to a degree ‘with Research’ if the student completes a rigorous research project in their major area(s) of study…” the ministry document states.
The new policy has also paved the way for a single overarching regulator for the entire higher education, which will replace the University Grants Commission and the All India Council For Technical Education. The single regulator called the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will have “four independent verticals” carrying out the functions of regulation, funding, accreditation and setting standards for learning outcomes.
At present, there are over 45,000 affiliated colleges in the country.
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