The Educational Testing Services (ETS), known for organizing global admission tests such as TOEFL and GRE, has shown an interest in partnering with the National Testing Agency (NTA) project started by the HRD Ministry. David Payne, Global COO of ETS, said that the agency is also keen to collaborate with the Indian government for its skill development initiatives.
ETS is a non-profit agency that was started in 1947 and is willing to collaborate with Indian companies in order to help employers during recruiting process. In an interview, Payne said that in order to build any testing agency, it is important to earn the trust of people.
He also added that ETS is in talks with the Indian Government regarding the kind of tests NTA wants to conduct. Payne also said that they have been working with their government keeping the local contexts and dynamics in mind and will have to iterate a similar mechanism with NTA if they collaborate. They are planning to leverage their 70 years of experience and said that it is up to the Indian Government how they go ahead with this.
Payne also added that they have a huge market for GRE and TOEFL in India. India is the second largest GRE market, whereas, for TOEFL it is amongst the top five markets. In 2017, ETS tested 78,000 GRE takers and 66,000 TOEFL takers approximately. Other than GRE, ETS also organizes GRE subject tests and Praxix test series in over 180 countries at 9,000 locations across the world.
ETS also plans to partner with the government’s skill development programmes. In this regard, Payne said that in order to launch skill development programmes, it is important to figure out a way to measure their impact or else skill development will not be useful. He added that skill development should be linked with the requirement of the employers. ETS has some tests that can be considered as they are reliable and standardized, Payne added.
NTA was announced by the HRD Ministry in 2017 in order to relieve the CBSE, AICTE and other agencies from the workload of conducting entrance tests and allow them to focus on their primary functions. The NTA was approved by Union Cabinet in December 2017 in order to conduct more reliable and standardized entrance exams.