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National Testing Service to evaluate IIT aspirants

In a bid to avoid mid-term embarrassment faced by students studying in IITs, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry is considering introduction of National Testing Service (NTS) to evaluate the efficiency of engineering aspirants. The proposed test is aimed at shortlisting candidates prior to taking the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE).

According to a senior official, the Ministry has already made up its mind to ‘accommodate’ the recommendations of the IIT Council, which was constituted to review the current JEE system for admission to the premier engineering institutes, under the chairmanship of Ashok Mishra of IIT-Roorkee. 

The council had suggested the introduction of another level of examination for entrance to the prestigious technical schools.  The final decision in this regard will be taken in the 50th IIT Council meet, scheduled for August 23.

“The ministry’s major concern is to protect the interests of IIT aspirants belonging to rural areas and SC/ST candidates. The ministry will discuss the implications of this new mechanism in detail during the meeting and if the suggestions are agreed upon, they would be adopted with some modifications,” the official said.

The council had suggested setting up of NTS (or a similar named agency) along the lines of the education testing service of the United States of America to conduct an aptitude test starting 2017 (or 2018). 

The council had also suggested shortlisting 4 lakh candidates and based on the cutoff score in the NTS, only the selected students would be allowed to take the Joint Entrance Examination. The proposal is to offer the aptitude test for two or more times a year, which would be conducted online.

“We are not against the implementation of the proposed aptitude test for JEE aspirants, but the government has to look into other aspects of it too. We are also analysing as how it can be implemented and what would be the major challenges in adopting it,” the official said.
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