A seven-member task force, to prepare a blueprint for the special purpose vehicle (SPV) for setting up the much talked about National Testing Agency (NTA), has been formed by the Union HRD Ministry.
The idea for an apex testing body was proposed by the Central Advisory Board for Education (CABE) last month.
The board had earlier endorsed the proposal to relieve the various bodies, including the UGC and the IIT, from the responsibility of holding the national-level tests.
According to an HRD Ministry release,the agency will have representatives from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the University Grants Commission (UGC), National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE),besides those from the ministry.
A ministry official said, “the rationale for setting up the NTA lies in ensuring that the multiplicity of entrance examination, which leads to stress on the students, is addressed in a comprehensive manner.”
“This will be achieved by formulating a uniform entrance examination for admissions in different branches of higher learning,” he added.
While the dream project is yet to take off, it has evoked a mixed response from the educationists.
While some of them underlined the agency’s benefits, others voiced concerns over its acceptance at the national level.
“This decision is a good step and will help the aspirants to save time, energy and money. It will also ensure uniformity. Since there will be a single all-India test, the quality of the questions and other logistics will also be kept in mind which will benefit the students,” says Abhay Kumar, professor,at the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC)here.
However, Gowri Ishvaran, CEO at ‘The Global Education and Leadership Foundation’ and founder principal of ‘Sanskriti’ School, questioned its universal appeal.
“This will be of benefit if it is uniformly accepted by all the universities in the country.’’
‘‘ Since children come from different boards and every state has different criteria for testing the students, it will be very difficult to bring about uniformity in the current situation. It is a good idea, but the project needs uniformity,” he argues.