AICTE Current Affairs

National Testing Agency to train paper setters

Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has announced that National Testing Agency (NTA) will train paper setters to set better question papers and provide better model answers. NTA was set up to relieve Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and other educational regulator bodies from burden of conducting multiple examinations.

Key Facts

NTA is expected to conduct some of the examinations that CBSE has been conducting till now.  It will take over all examinations from the CBSE (except the 10th and 12th board examinations) from 2019 in phased manner. It will be also conducting prestigious Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission to engineering colleges like IITs and NITs and National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to all medical and dental colleges in the country (except AIIMS and JIPMER, Puducherry).

National Testing Agency (NTA)

NTA was approved by Union cabinet in November 2017 as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions in India. It is registered as society under Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860. It mandates is to conduct entrance tests entrusted to it by any department or ministry and put in place a robust system for conducting of examinations.

It is also mandated to bring high reliability and standardised difficulty level for assessing aptitude, intelligence and problem-solving abilities of students. It will relieve CBSE, AICTE and other bodies of responsibility of conducting entrance examinations. It is chaired by eminent educationist appointed by Ministry of HRD. Its CEO will be Director General (DG) appointed by Government. Besides, it has Board of Governors comprising members from user institutions.

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Plan for common Engineering entrance exam put on hold

The Ministry of Human Resources and Development has put on hold the plan for conducting a single entrance test for admission to engineering courses throughout the country till a consensus is reached with the states. The ministry feels that without reaching consensus, the purpose of having a common engineering entrance exam would not be served. Also, the ministry wants to discuss the possibility of having common counselling provisions with the states.

However, it is not fully clear whether the consultation with the states will delay the implementation of the plan in 2018. As per the sources, as soon as the consensus is built among the states, the centre will work out the modalities of implementing the plan.

Background

Recently, the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) had passed a regulation to hold a national-level common engineering entrance exam from 2018. But, it was vehemently opposed by states like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Development wants to conduct a common test for admission to engineering courses similar to that of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical and dental colleges introduced last year.

At present, various exams are held for admitting students to engineering courses. For instance, the CBSE conducts JEE-Mains exam every year, for which over 11 lakh students appear. Several states have their own tests. In addition, several private colleges have their own entrance examinations. In India, there are over 3,300 approved engineering colleges with an annual intake of around 16 lakh students. So, the government feels that there should be a single common entrance examination for admission to engineering courses.

AICTE

AICTE is a statutory body established in November 1945. It comes under the aegis of Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development. AICTE is a national-level council for technical education responsible for planning and coordination of technical education and management of education system in the country. It accredits graduate and post graduate programs at Indian institutions.

 

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