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21st June 2024 (11 Topics)

National Testing Agency (NTA)

Context

Following the cancellation of the UGC-NET examination by the Centre, the National Testing Agency (NTA) is under scrutiny with calls for its abolition.

About the National Testing Agency (NTA)

  • Established by the Centre in 2017, the NTA is an autonomous body responsible for conducting entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.
  • Role: The NTA manages the entire process of exam preparation, delivery, and evaluation in a rigorous and scientific manner. It collaborates closely with subject matter experts and psychometricians.
  • The NTA is governed by a board comprising 14 members, including the chairman.
  • Key Examinations Conducted: The NTA administers various prominent exams, including:
    • NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) for medical admissions.
    • UGC-NET (National Eligibility Test) for determining eligibility for lectureship and Junior Research Fellowship.
    • JEE Main (Joint Entrance Examination) for admission to IITs and NITs.
    • CMAT (Common Management Admission Test) for management programs.
    • GPAT (Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test) for pharmacy programs.

Fact Box: Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024

  • The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024 aims to prevent “unfair means” in order to “bring greater transparency, fairness and credibility to the public examinations system”.
  • Exams come under the Act:
    • Union Public Service Commission (UPSC): Civil Services Examination, Combined Defence Services Examinations, Combined Medical Services Examination, Engineering Services Examination, etc.
    • Staff Selection Commission (SSC): Group C (non-technical) and Group B (non-gazetted) jobs in the central government
    • Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs): Groups C and D staff in the Indian Railways
    • Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS): for nationalised banks and regional rural banks (RRBs)
    • National Testing Agency (NTA): JEE (Main), NEET-UG, UGC-NET, the Common University Entrance Test (CUET), etc.
  • Section 9 of the Act states that all offences shall be cognizable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable.

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