JEE Main, NEET exams to be held twice from next year

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India’s Education Minister Prakash Javadekar
India’s Education Minister Prakash Javadekar

New Delhi : India’s Education Minister Prakash Javadekar has announced that the national level engineering (JEE Main) and medical entrance examinations (NEET) will be held twice a year from 2019 in online mode. The statement has been issued in a press conference in New Delhi, held today.

According to the HRD ministry, Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main and National Eligibility cum Entrance Examination (NEET) will be held by newly formed National Testing Agency (NTA).

Besides NEET and JEE Main, NTA will also conduct UGC NET and CMAT exams from now onwards. 

These competitive exams will be held on multiple dates, the minister added. 

Next year, JEE Main exams will be held in January and April while NEET will be held twice in February and May.

Currently, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is the only agency responsible for organising JEE Main and NEET examinations. 

According to the minister, the candidates who will appear for these tests will be allowed to use the finest score from the examinations in counselling process.

The minister also said that the syllabus and other formalities of the examinations will remain same.

In the budget announcement 2017-18, the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on November 10, 2018 approved creation of the NTA as an independent and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country. 

To facilitate the rural students, NTA would locate the centres at sub-district/district level and would provide practical training to the students.

According to HRD Ministry, NTA will be chaired by a renowned educationist appointed by the ministry. The CEO of NTA will be the Director General to be appointed by the Government and there will be a Board of Governors comprising members from user institutions. The Director General will be assisted by 9 verticals headed by academicians/ experts.

According to a cabinet meeting decision, NTA will be financially supported with one-time Rs.25 crore from the Government of India to start its operation in the first year. 

"Establishment of NTA will benefit about 40 lakh students appearing in various entrance examinations. It will relieve CBSE, AICTE and other agencies from responsibility of conducting these entrance examinations, and also bring in high reliability, standardized difficulty level for assessing the aptitude, intelligence and problem solving abilities of the students," said a union cabinet statement earlier.