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National Testing Agency to Introduce Important Changes in NEET & JEE

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National Testing Agency NEET & JEE

NTA or the National Testing Agency was first proposed during the Union Budget of 2017 to handle all the higher level entrance examinations from nearer future to ensure that there is a proper screening of the talent available in India and also to provide valid opportunities to deserving candidates.

Why is National Testing Agency being introduced?

In Lok Sabha session, Human Resource Development Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha stated that NTA will function in 2019, replacing the authority of CBSE as the common entrance examination regulators.

CBSE conducts the majority of entrance examinations which are held in India. Undoubtedly, the examinations are conducted with utmost transparency and the difficulty of the examinations has been continuously analyzed to ensure that there is no possible discrepancy. At present, CBSE is in charge of conducting National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET), National Eligibility Test (NET), Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET)apart from the regular 10th and 12th standard board examinations. So, the pressure and the responsibility which is being carried out by CBSE is quite self-explanatory and to relieve CBSE from the additional burden of examinations, the HRD ministry has decided on the functionality of NTA. According to resources, the decision for empowering the NTA was passed on November 10th, 2017 and it can be expected that this organization does justice to reduce the pressure from CBSE.

Expected Changes

It is quite obvious that when an entirely new governing body is being introduced to conduct the examinations, certainly there will be changes in various aspects of the examination. One major change has already been notified.

According to resources, NTA will be initially handling examinations such as NEET and JEE and they have decided to conduct these national-level entrance exams twice in a year. This is certainly a shocking aspect to the millions of aspirants who are habituated with the existing exam pattern and its schedule. According to reports, the major reason behind this decision is to increase the scope for the candidates to give them more and better opportunities.

It can be observed that not every candidate is able to clear the JEE Main entrance examination to seek admission in the top IITs and NITs of India, the situation is same in case of the medical aspirants for NEET. So the students tend to drop a year so that they can prepare with utmost dedication in the specified time interval, and after this, they usually reappear after one year for the entrance examination to secure good marks.

It is self-explanatory that this year gap is a demerit and it is an obvious waste of resources and time for many candidates as not all the candidates who appear after 1 year are able to succeed in their path. To reduce this level of uncertainty, the NTA has taken this decision to conduct NEET and JEE twice a year from 2019 onwards so that the students can align and analyze their 12th standard and these entrance examinations. Even if a candidate does not succeed in the first attempt, he or she can appear in the same year in the second chance given, this way the candidate does not need to waste a year.

Apart from this, the NTA has also requested for possible modifications in the syllabus of the examinations. This is a moment of pride that the NTA is able to realize the problems from the grass-root level and they are taking the steps accordingly. Both JEE and NEET examination syllabus is synchronized with the syllabus for 11 and 12th examination for CBSE board. This allows the students appearing on CBSE boards to align their preparation in such a manner to extract privilege out of them but if we consider the scenario of other students who pursue their education from various state boards in India, it can be stated that they have to undergo an extra burden as their 11th and 12th syllabus is not same with that of the CBSE board.

This extra burden sometimes imposes a challenge and a subsequent negativity on their results and due to this, all the students are not able to perform uniformly. If NTA will conduct these examinations, there is a probable modification of the syllabus to ensure uniformity to all the candidates across India. To support this step, the ministry of HRDhas requested all the education boards across India to come to a common solution where they can decide unanimously on a common syllabus, and it is can be deduced that the NTA will figure out its desired syllabus through this action.

Now the question arises how the students of India will be benefited through this action? Glimpses of obvious doubt arise whether the examination pattern will be more difficult due to the introduction of the new governing body. This is a fact that CBSE has been requesting to the ministry expressing their state of additional pressure due to a large number of examinations.

If NTA replaces CBSE and grants it the desired freedom, then CBSE will be able to concentrate more on the aspect of delivering quality education to the students which will be an appreciable action.

Apart from this, the benefits in the student’s sector are unlimited as their time and resources will be saved and they can appear for two attempts in a single year. According to reports, the ministry has also requested to hand over the responsibilities of conducting JEE Advanced to NTA but the final decision from the IITs is not yet confirmed. Undoubtedly, the formation and implementation of the National Testing Agency will make the examination process smoother in every aspect, widening the prospectus and more candidates will taste the flavor of success.

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CBSE Using Digital Technology For Level Playing Field in Exams

The official also debunked reports that the Board is conducting exams early this year due to general election, saying it's "completely wrong" and that early exams have nothing to do with the elections

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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has been using digital technology to create as much of a level playing field as possible for students who feel unduly penalised by a disproportionately difficult question paper or a stray ambiguous question, a senior official said.

The official said that the Board started using the Theory Evaluation Trend Analysis (TETRA) software – written by its own team – last year for studying the trend of marks being obtained by the students across the regions.

The software displays the live trend of average marks scored across the centres and can be used for moderation of marks in case there’s an unfair degree of ambiguity or difficulty in the question paper.

“We analyse the trend of marks being obtained by students across the regions and centres. Whenever we spot any deviation from the norm, we call up that centre and probe if there were complaints about the question paper,” a senior CBSE official told on condition of anonymity.

“We look for complaints regarding any ambiguity or difficulty in the question paper. A team then sees if and how much moderation is needed to account for these difficulties,” the official added.

Asked about previously instances of some boards spiking marks, the official emphasised that the Board has never happened as it was “unethical” and quite different from moderation, “which is done by boards across the world” and is a just way of compensating students”.

CBSE
CBSE logo.

Another official insisted that moderation is not a matter of policy for the Board and is done only when needed under pressing circumstances. This official likened the software with “CCTV camera” with the help of which the officials oversee the mammoth evaluation execise that the board exams are.

The CBSE had also used the TETRA software last year when it weathered opprobrium from all quarters after the Maths and Economics papers for class 10 and class 12, respectively were leaked.

Board officials saw the trend for both the papers and found that students from class 10 had not benefited from the Maths paper leak because the graph of their scores matched the general trend. Such was not the case with Economics paper, which was reset.

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The Board has since fortified its exam system, the official assured, but refused to divulge the details of the changes brought citing risk of their getting compromised.

The official also debunked reports that the Board is conducting exams early this year due to general election, saying it’s “completely wrong” and that early exams have nothing to do with the elections.

“We are conducting exams a little early this year at the instruction of the Delhi High Court, which had said that the schools results should coincide with the Delhi University admission. To that effect, the results also this year will be announced early in May,” the official said. (IANS)