In a response to certain query by RTI, Department of Higher Education at Ministry of Human Resource Development stated that all the responsibilities related to the administering of a selected few entrance examinations for higher education shall handed over to the NTA (National Testing Agency) from CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education).
Under Secretary and Central Public Information Officer at the Technical Education Bureau, Kundan Nath replied to this RTI request on 10th April by mentioning the following:
“In Union Cabinet meeting held dated 10.11.2017 with regards to the 2017-2018 budget announcements has approved for creation of NTA (National Testing Agency) which shall be self-sustained and autonomous premier type testing organization placed in position to conduct the entrance examinations listed by the institutions for higher education. During the initial half, the NTA has been approved to take over the entrance examinations currently being organized by CBSE. NTA is supposed to take over the conducting phase of entrance examinations from 2019. Once the NTA is completely geared up, other examinations shall all come under the umbrella of NTA. All the entrance examinations shall be conducted using the online mode for at least 2 times every year. All the detailed modalities required to conduct these examinations shall be confirmed by NTA with time.”
The NTA came under existence in the year 2017 after Union Cabinet envisioned it to take over the examinations that are being handled by CBSE as of now. During budget announcement session for 2017 to 2018, there was an allocated space to confirm the creation of NTA. The official statement made by Dr Satya Pal Singh, Minister of State read as follows:
“In the meeting held by Union Cabinet dated 10.11.2017, the approval for creation of NTA was confirmed as the self-sustained and autonomous premier organization for testing and conduction of entrance examinations meant for HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) in India.”
There have been speculations that NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) shall most probably be conducted by NTA. However, the same has not yet been confirmed for other exams. The CBSE conducts NEET for undergraduate as well as postgraduate exams which allow students to take admission into various dental and medical colleges all across India.
NEET first started in the year 2013 and the examination for undergraduate participants were first held dated 5th May 2013 which essentially replaced the traditional entrance exams for medical students such as AIPMT or PMT with more than 2 lakh participants who attempted to clear the examination.
The NEET shall now be held at least two times in a year as compared to the previous flow of exam being conducted only once annually. The same will be conducted online. The details of the examination for implementation and regulation of examinations is not yet disclosed. The NTA was allowed a fund of close to INR 25 Crore for its creation.