National Testing Agency Current Affairs - 2019

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Madras High Court Rules against Negative Marking in Competitive Exams

The Madras High Court has ruled against negative marking in competitive examinations saying they are bad in law.

Observations of the Madras High Court

The Madras High Court while hearing a petition filed by an IIT JEE aspirant who failed to clear the Mains due to negative marking has made the following observations:

  • The Madras High Court has accepted the petitioner’s argument that negative marking is not prevailing anywhere else in the world.
  • The court said that negative marking acts only as “a bolt in the brain development” of students and prevents them from making intelligent guesses.
  • Deducting marks for wrong answers would not in any way help in analysing the intelligence, aptitude or knowledge of the candidates.
  • Every candidate could not be expected to know all answers for sure. In such circumstances, the practice of negative marking would hamper brain development and create a fear psychosis among students.
  • The court rejected the CBSE counsel’s argument that in Indian context the practice is necessary.

The judge stated that “Intelligent guessing is an art. It is very useful in our life. One cannot be sure about all things at all times. An individual will come across a situation where he/she has to decide an issue not merely based on his knowledge but with little guessing. While intelligent guessing requires an amount of prior knowledge on the subject, wild guessing is a decision taken just like that”

The Madras High Court ruled not to give negative marks for wrong answers and directed the CBSE to communicate the order to the National testing Agency which conducts the  JEE (Main) exam.

National Testing Agency takes measures to Acquaint Aspirants

The National Testing Agency (NTA) which is vested with the responsibility of the conduction of competitive exams has taken the following measures to acquaint aspirants with the computer-based examinations:

  • A mobile application has been launched through which students can practice or take mock tests on their smartphones.
  • The National Testing Agency has also launched a network of more than 4,000 Test Practice Centres (TPCs).

These measures are aimed at ensuring the aspirants especially those from rural areas are not at disadvantage due to the mode of the exam.

National Testing Agency

National Testing Agency 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.

Functions of the National Testing Agency

The functions of the National Testing agency are:

  • To identify partner institutions with the necessary infrastructure from the existing schools and higher education institutions to facilitate the conduct of online examinations without adversely impacting their academic routine.
  • To set-up a question bank for all subjects using modern techniques.
  • To establish a strong R&D culture as well as a pool of experts in different aspects of testing.
  • To help individual colleges and universities in the field of testing and to provide training and advisory services to institutions in India.
  • To provide quality testing services to the academic institutions in India.
  • To develop a state of the art culture of testing in India by using domestic and international expertise. To collaborate with international organizations like ETS to achieve the same.
  • To undertake any other examination that is entrusted to it by the Ministries/Departments of Government of India/State Governments.
  • 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.

The National Testing Agency will be chaired by an eminent educationist and the governing council of the National Testing agency is headed by the Secretary, Department of Higher Education under the Ministry of Human Resource and Development.

The National Testing agency is successfully conducting Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) main for undergraduate engineering admissions and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical admissions.