Javadekar also announced that the NTA will also organise the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) and Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT).
New Delhi: In an important move to improve opportunities for aspiring engineers and doctors, the Centre on Saturday announced that engineering and medical entrance exams — JEE (Mains) and Neet — would now be conducted online and twice a year by the newly-formed National Testing Agency (NTA).
The students can appear both the times in Neet and JEE (Mains) and the best of the two scores would be taken into account for admission, Union human resources development minister Prakash Javadekar said on Saturday.
“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.
The minister said that while the National Eligibility Test (NET) — conducted for selecting assistant professors for universities or junior research fellows — would be held by the NTA in December, the JEE (Mains) would be conducted in January and April. The Neet would be held in February and May. The IITs would continue to conduct JEE (Advanced) like before, he said.
Mr Javadekar also announced that the NTA will also organise the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) and Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT).
The minister said exams conducted by the NTA will be foolproof and conducted according to international practices.
“There will be no issues of leakage and it would be more student-friendly, open and scientific. A foolproof mechanism is being out in place to ensure that exams are conducted according to international norms,’’ Mr Javadekar added.
“All the tests would be set in a scientific manner with the test items developed jointly by the subject matter experts and psychometricians.
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.
The minister also clarified that syllabus, question formats, language and fees for the exams would not be changed and the exam schedule would be put on the HRD ministry’s website. He said that the 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 setting up of the NTA to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions was cleared by the Union cabinet sometime back.
Till now it was the CBSE which organised the NEET on behalf of the Medical Council Of India and the health ministry and NET on behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC).