New Delhi: Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday announced that JEE Mains and NEET -- the two national level engineering and medical entrance examinations -- will be held twice a year from 2019 by a newly formed National Testing Agency (NTA).
The NTA was approved by the Union Cabinet in November 2017 as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions to bring in major reforms in the examination system.
"The National Testing Agency will conduct them this year. The same student can take the exam both times a year and the best score will be counted," Javadekar said.
He said all examinations under the NTA will be online. "Computer centres will be set up where students with no access to computers can practise from August-end or September."
JEE Main exams will be held in January and April while NEET will be held twice in February and May, Javadekar told reporters. The nodal agency responsible for JEE Main and NEET examinations was the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
Javadekar said apart from Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main and National Eligibility cum Entrance Examination (NEET), NTA would also conduct National Eligibility Test (NET), Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) and Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) exams.
But the IITs will continue to conduct JEE-Advanced.
The National Eligibility Test (NET) is conducted twice a year -- July and December. The December session of the NET will be the first exam to be conducted by the newly formed body.
"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 said.
The minister said there would be no change in the syllabus, neither would the exam cost more than what it did earlier.