Giving a major relief to medical and engineering aspirants, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar Saturday announced that JEE (Mains) and NEET examinations will be conducted twice a year. While the JEE (Mains) will be held in January and April, NEET will be conducted in February and May, the minister said.
The latest development has come as a breather for many students grappling with the inadequate time to prepare for these exams, which were previously conducted once a year. Earlier, students used to appear for these exams just after their Class XII Board, forcing them to focus on their Boards and these exams simultaneously.
The move will ensure that the students will now get more time to prepare for their exams, thereby bringing down their stress levels.
Addressing a press conference, Javadekar said the newly formed National Testing Agency (NTA) would- now conduct the national- level examinations — NET, NEET, JEE (Mains) — that were organised by the CBSE. National Eligibility Test would be conducted in December.
NET, a qualifying test for admission in higher educational institutions in the country, would be the first exam to be conducted by the newly formed body.
The NTA would also conduct National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) and Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT), Javadekar said.
Divulging more details, the HRD minister said the students can appear both the times in National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the best of the two scores would be taken in account for admission. NEET is conducted for admissions to medical institutions across the country. “The exams will be more secure and at par with international norms. There will be no issues of leakage and it would be more student friendly, open, scientific and a leak-proof system,” Javadekar told reporters.
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He said the NTA would benefit the students and they would have the option of going to computer centres from August-end to practice for the exams. The tests would be computer-based. The exams would be held over a span of four-five days and students would have the option of choosing the dates, he said.
Further, he said the syllabus, question formats, language and fees for the exams would not be changed.
The time table of the exams to be conducted by NTA would be uploaded on the ministry’s website. The IITs would continue to conduct Joint Entrance Examination-Advanced exam, he said.
The Union Cabinet had approved setting up of NTA to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions. So far, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducted NEET on behalf of the Medical Council Of India and the Health Ministry and NET on behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC).