Exam will be held two times a year in February and May. Students can appear in the exam in any one of the 8 different sittings
New Delhi: The National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), whose conduction earlier was the responsibility of the Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE), has now changed hands with the charge of conduction of this all India test falling on the shoulders of the newly formed National Testing Agency(NTA). The NEET according to a government announcement by the Union Human Resource and Development minister, Prakash Javadekar will 2019 onwards be conducted by the NTA, in the months of February and May. This is being done to help medical aspirants improve their scores the same year, unlike in the previous case, where a year-long wait was in store if any aspirant failed to do well in the NEET annual exam conducted by the CBSE. The NTA, besides supervising the NEET entrance will also be in charge for entrance examinations like the JEE, CTET, UGC and NET etc.
“All entrance exams which were conducted by CBSE, such as UGC-NET, JEE Main and NEET, will now be conducted by NTA,” Union Human Resource Development Minister, Prakash Javadekar said on Saturday, to the TOI.NTA is also to conduct the Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) from 2019
In an earlier story done by Medical Dialogues at the time of budgetary announcements last year, Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley in his budget speech had proposed the establishment of a National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct all academic entrance examinations. This he has said would result in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), getting relieved of all administrative work of conducting examinations. His announcement was a clear indication of the National Eligibility Entrance Test(NEET), for admissions to medical colleges of the country, henceforth falling under the purview of the NTA. The CBSE body had been looking after the conduction of NEET at the all India level, till now.
Announcing the commencement of the organisation NTA, HRD Minister announced that NEET would now be conductedonline and twice a yearby the newly formed National Testing Agency (NTA). The minister further added that students can appear both the times in National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the best of the two scores would be taken in account for admission. NEET is conducted for admissions to medical institutions across the country.
“This will give more chances to students thereby giving adequate opportunity to bring out his/her best and reduce stress which develops due to a single exam being conducted on one day in the year. However, sitting in both the tests will not be compulsory,” he said.
Establishment of this statutory body is meant to benefit 40 lakh students appearing for various entrance tests, including 60,000 medical entrants, he informed.
Here are some salient features of the exam conducted by the NTA
The two tests — JEE (Mains) and NEET — would be equated using psychometric methods, standardisation techniques and best of the equated scores would be used for the admissions.
The minister said that the exams would be more secure and at par with international norms. There would be no issues of leakage and it would be more student friendly, open, scientific and leak-proof, he stressed.
“The examinations for all candidates will be conducted in computer-based mode only. These examinations will use highly secured IT software and and encryption to ensure delivery of tests just in time. This will ensure no leakages and other malpractices,” he told reporters.
Javadekar assured that the syllabus, the pattern of the question paper would remain the same and there would no increase in the examination fees. The exams would be held in the existing number of languages.
“All the tests would be set in a scientific manner with the test items developed jointly by the subject matter experts and psychometricians.
“Before developing the question papers, the item writers for the exams will be given on the functioning of the previous years’ items so that they are able to make test items which are more valid and reliable,” he said.
All the tests would be conducted in multiple sittings and a candidate would have an option of choosing from the dates. Scores of different candidates in multiple sittings would also be equated using standardisation techniques.
NTA would establish a network of test practice centres for students from rural areas so that everyone would 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 third week of August and any student can use the facility free of charge, he added.
The time table of the exams to be conducted by the NTA would be uploaded on the ministry’s website.
The online submission of application forms for NEET (UG) would start from October 1 and be on till October 31. The examinations would be held between February 3, 2019 to January 17, 2019 in eight different sittings and candidates can choose any one. The results will be declared in the first week of March 2019.
The online submission of application forms for second phase of NEET (UG) would start from second week of March next year. The examinations would be held between May 12, 2019 to May 26, 2019 in eight different sittings and candidates can choose any one. The results would be declared in the first week of June.
The Ministry’s website will upload the exam’s timetable decided conducted by the NTA. Rural students interests would be looked after, with the NTA locating centres at sub-district/district level and also making possible hands-on training for the students for their entrance examinations.
What is NTA?
NTA happens to be a statutory body which has the approval of the Union cabinet for conducting the NEET examination. It was with this newly found approval that the body has freed AICTE and CBSE from their responsibilities of conducting these entrance examinations.
This transfer of responsibility is likely to increase reliability, by standardizing difficulty level for assessing the aptitude, intelligence and problem-solving abilities of the students,” said a union cabinet statement, earlier.
The HRD Ministry reveals that NTA will be chaired by eminent educationist appointments made by the ministry. The CEO of NTA will be the Government appointed Director-General. There will be a Board of Governors comprising members from user institutions. Assistance by 9 verticals headed by academicians/ experts is to be provided to the Director General of the NTA.
A one-time grant of Rs.25 crore from the Government of India is to be given to the body, as decided by the cabinet, at a meeting. The fund is to be used for starting its operations in the first year, later it is expected to become financially self-sustainable.