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National Testing Agency to Introduce Important Changes in NEET & JEE

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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 Paper Leak: Are All Students Really Against The Re-Examination?

This paper leak and the reluctance to accept its intensity clearly shows CBSE's and government's inability to secure what needs to be secured and take responsibility

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Ruchika Verma 

  • CBSE paper leak has been criticised by everyone
  •  Government is taking the matter lightly, not acknowledging the 10th class Mathematics’ paper leak which took place outside of Delhi-NCR as well
  • Students all over the country are in want of justice and a Mathematics re-examination

CBSE Paper leak is one of the biggest controversies in the history of Indian Education System so far. Every student has this extreme pressure of performing well in their board examinations, which are no less than a taboo, for many. The pressure to perform well and get a good score can often get overwhelming for students. They work hard to score well.

However, many do try to take shortcuts as well. The recent CBSE paper leak is an example of just that. The 12th class’ Economics’ and 10th class’ Mathematics’ board’s question papers were leaked before the exams were to be conducted all over India. The matter was much hyped and rightly so. No one should be allowed to toy with the future of hardworking students.

CBSE paper leak is injustice at its height to the students. Wikimedia Commons
CBSE paper leak is injustice at its height to the students. Wikimedia Commons

The CBSE paper leak is one of the biggest failures of the system. The proposed solution to the monumental damage by CBSE was the conduction of retest. The 12th class Economics’ exam will be held again on 25th April 2018. However, the retest for class 10th Mathematics examination has been cancelled on the grounds that the paper was not leaked all over India and retest shall only be conducted in Delhi and Haryana, that too after “investigation points to a larger leak,” as the HRD minister, Prakash Javdekar points out.

However, what makes the government and CBSE think that the paper was not leaked outside of Delhi and NCR? 

Mainstream media is only showing protests against the retest. However, they are ignoring a large section of students from all over India who actually want a retest.

These students claim that the paper was leaked all over India. It was not only Delhi or NCR but the whole nation which saw the leaked Mathematics paper well before the examination actually took place.

Soumya, a 10th class student from the Bokaro Steel City of Jharkhand, says that the leaked question papers were being sold to students by the local cyber cafes quite openly.

Kartik from Jaipur also shared videos which shows the leak question paper along with answers being uploaded on YouTube 10 days before the exam took place which was on 28th March 2018. The account which uploaded the video has been deactivated, however, the proof was provided by Kartik which clearly states the date and time at which the video was uploaded. The video had approximately 4.7k views.

Screenshot of the video which showed the leaked Mathematics paper, as shared by a student.
Screenshots of the video which showed the leaked Mathematics paper, as shared by a student.
Proof, as shared by a student, showing the video was uploaded well before the exam actually took place.
Proof, as shared by a student, showing the video was uploaded well before the exam actually took place.

Anything on the internet is accessible to all. Then, why CBSE is taking a stand that the paper was not leaked outside of Delhi too? 

Screenshots of another video of the leaked paper which was uploaded just a day before the exam, as shared by the students.
Proof, as shared by a student, showing the video was uploaded well before the exam actually took place.
Proof, as shared by students, that the paper leak was all over the internet before the exam actually took place.

This is clearly an injustice to all the students all over India.

Soumya says, “Paper leaked helped a few but not all, it only helped an average student to be a topper and replace the rightful, I am against CBSE’s decision of not conducting the re-exam.”

Students from states like Jharkhand, Jaipur, Mumbai claim that the papers were available to them and their friends as well. They did not choose to use them, maintaining their honesty and integrity but they were indeed available and CBSE just cannot and should not ignore this fact.

This paper leak and the reluctance to accept its intensity clearly shows CBSE’s and government’s inability to secure what needs to be secured and take responsibility. They are just trying to reduce the shame and lessen the blame. It can also be their strategy to save themselves from the headache of conducting a re-exam but is it fair?

Is it fair to the students who worked hard?

As Kartik puts it, “Only those who got leaked paper are against the retest and each and every topper will surely have at least tension that their rank will get affected by this leak. No topper is against the retest, only those who leaked and used the leaked papers are against the retest.”

Ayush from Jharkhand says, “Restest must be conducted across the whole country. Paper was leaked in Jharkhand also. CBSE is a central board and not just Delhi Board.”

Nitish Maurya from Mumbai questions the government and their intentions behin+d not conducting the re-examination. Who are they really trying to save by not giving the leak the importance it actually deserves?

Also Read: CBSE leak: Police detain coaching centre owner, businessman

Students are also protesting against the government and mainstream media which refuses to highlight their plight. CBSE paper leak is not only a matter of shame but also a matter of concern. Government just sweeping it under the rug is not only unfair but also highly unethical.

“If we won’t stop these leakers now, they will cause a great side effect at the time of our competition exams like NEET, etc.” Says, Katik, raising serious concerns about the future of Indian education.

Concerns were also raised about students who will get away with cheating this time and may repeat the similar behaviour again, where will this lead our country to in future?

Students are protesting heavily against the decision of CBSE to not conduct a re-examination.

CBSE paper leak clearly shows the shortcomings of Indian education system. What’s more disheartening than the paper leak is the denial of justice to several students all over India. It is now high time, the government gets its priorities straight. Students are the future of this country, and any injustice to them simply should not be tolerated!

The story has been compiled by Ruchika Verma of NewsGram.