JEE Current Affairs
Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has proposed to set up five-member committee to suggest changes to JEE (Advanced) in the wake of an inadequate number of candidates qualifying entrance test this year. The committee will be headed by IIT-Madras director Bhaskar Ramamurthy.
The mandate of committee is to develop robust and scientifically designed entrance exam system to test potential of candidates as well as to reduce their dependence on coaching institutes. Other members of the committee will include Abhay Karandikar (Director of IIT-Kanpur), Vineet Joshi (Director General of National Testing Agency) and Professor Kannan Moudgalya of IIT-Bombay.
The first merit list for JEE (Advanced) 2018 had only 18,138 candidates, which was only 1.6 times total sanctioned seats. It was smallest pool of qualified candidates since 2012. It was also very less than mandated required of twice number of seats on offer. This had forced HRD Ministry to step in last-minute and order IIT Kanpur (which had organised JEE-Advanced this year) to release list of candidates, twice number of seats in each discipline and category (strictly as per merit) prior to starting the choice filling through JoSAA (Joint Seat Allocation Authority). Subsequently, IIT Kanpur added another 13842 candidates (8,954 general, 3,824 OBC, 771 SCs and 293 from ST category) to merit list, taking total up to 31,980 candidates. To avoid such incident in future, HRD Ministry has proposed to set up five-member member Committee.
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.
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.