In a rather abrupt manner, Mr. Prakash Javadekar, the Honorable Union Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD), Government of India, has confirmed that the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main and National Eligibility cum Entrance Examination (NEET) tests will be conducted twice every year starting 2019. Starting JEE Main 2019, NTA (National Testing Agency) will be the new organizing authority for these exams.
JEE Main and NEET are national level entrance exams for admission to undergraduate engineering and medical colleges in the premier colleges and universities of the country. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was handling all the related exams till this year.
Besides these two examinations, NTA is also set to organize the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT), National Eligibility Test (NET), and Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) entrance examinations going forward.
The cabinet had given its approval for formation of NTA on 10th November, 2017 as per the notification published by Press Release Bureau of India. It was also widely speculated that JEE Main 2018 will be conducted by NTA.
Even after several reports published by popular newspapers and online portals, no official intimation came from either CBSE or MHRD, Government of India. However, after Prakash Javadekar’s proclamation on July 07, there is no doubt that NTA is the new organizing body.
main changes introduced by NTA will include conducting the exam twice every year and switching the entrance exam from Pen and Paper based to online (Computer based) exam.
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NEET was conducted in the offline mode whereas candidates could opt to appear for JEE Main exam in either online or offline mode. Starting 2019, the aspirants can attend the JEE Main and NEET only in the online or computer-based mode. While the two sessions of the JEE would be conducted every year in January and April, those of NEET will take place in February and May. Candidates could attempt either one or both the exams conducted in a year for JEE Main or NEET.
One definite advantage of the new model for students is that their best scores from either of their attempts would be used to shortlist for seat allocation and counselling process. The Honorable Education Minister made the revelation during a press meet held at New Delhi on July 07, 2018.
NTA is not likely to introduce any significant changes to the syllabus, paper format, medium of examination, examination fee, and the other parameters. The move to conduct JEE Main and NEET twice will add an extra cushion who really panic during exams due to stress or low confidence.
Moreover, individuals, who would have missed any attempt due to clash of dates can now choose the session as per their preference and based on their performance may be shortlisted for the final counselling process.
The Honorable Minister stated in the press conference – “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”
He also added, “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.”
Every year lakhs of students appear for these entrances and CBSE in recent years have been over-burdened with management of these exams. With the introduction of NTA as new exam conducting authority, CBSE will be relieved from these additional responsibilities and could focus more on its core responsibilities such as NCERT syllabus management and board exam conduction.
Note that each session of the JEE Main and NEET exams every year will be conducted in span of around four to five days. The aspirants can book their exam (time and date) slots during registration.
The engineering aspirants must also note that NTA will only be responsible for conducting the JEE Main exam biannually. The second stage of JEE for getting admissions to the IITs and ISM Dhanbad, JEE Advanced, will be conducted by one of the seven zonal IITs.