National Testing Agency

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Context: The National Testing Agency (NTA) has announced the results of the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test or NEET (undergraduate medical entrance exam) in June 2019.

Concerned Ministry: Ministry of Human Resource Development

Relevance: 
Prelims: Indian Polity and Governance
Mains: GS II

Introduction:

  • The establishment of the National Testing Agency was announced in the budget speech of 2017-18. It is a premier, specialist, autonomous and self-sustained testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for admission/fellowship in higher educational institutions.
  • The National Testing Agency is entrusted with the responsibility to address the challenge of assessing the competence of candidates through an efficient, transparent and error-free process.
  • National Testing Agency (NTA) has launched a ‘mobile app’ and Test Practice Centres (TPC’s) through which students can practice or take mock tests on their own computers or smartphones.
  • In order to increase the accessibility and meet the requirements of the rural students, it will locate centers at sub-district and district levels.

Functions: 

  1. To identify partner institutions with adequate infrastructure from the existing schools and higher education institutions which would facilitate the conduct of online examinations without adversely impacting their academic routine.
  2. To create a question bank for all subjects using modern techniques.
  3. To establish a strong R&D culture as well as a pool of experts in different aspects of testing.
  4. To provide training and advisory services to the institutions in India.
  5. To collaborate with international organizations like ETS (Educational Testing Services).
  6. To undertake any other examination that is entrusted to it by the Ministries/Departments of Government of India/State Governments.
  7. To undertake the reforms and training of school boards as well as other bodies where the testing standards should be comparable with the entrance examinations.

Administration: 

  • NTA is chaired by an eminent educationist appointed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will be the Director-General to be appointed by the Government.
  • There will be a Board of Governors comprising members from user institutions.

Significance: 

  • Establishment of a specialized testing body like NTA has relieved the agencies such as CBSE, AICTE of their responsibilities of conducting Entrance examinations.
  • Examinations are conducted by NTA in the online mode at least twice a year, in order to give enough opportunities to candidates and to bring out the best in them.



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