On the lines of Education Testing Service or ETS in the United States, HRD Ministry is also planning to set up an independent body, i.e., National Testing Service or NTS for holding entrance examinations for higher education. For this purpose, HRD Ministry has sent a proposal to the Cabinet regarding the same.
Currently, around 40 lakh students appear for seven entrance examinations which include NET, NEET, GATE, CMAT, JEE (Main), JEE (Advanced) and CAT. All these tests are usually conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education, IITs, IIMs and All India Council for Technical Education. Currently, National Testing Service or NTS proposed by HRD Ministry will assume the charge of conducting these examinations.
One of the officials mentioned that CBSE and AICTE could hold entrance examinations for various bodies and this leads to stretching of resources and time. For this purpose, HRD Ministry proposed NTS which will act as a conducting body for all these examinations.
Earlier, several governments proposed the ideas of holding NTS and got shelved. However, HRD Ministry is making a fresh attempt to revive the plan. It all started with CBSE which wrote to University Grants Commission that it has become overburdened by holding various entrance examinations. Currently, CBSE is conducting Class X and XII, NEET, UGC-NET and JEE (Main).
According to sources, NTS is expected to come into effect from July 2017 under Indian Societies Act. The plan is to make NTS conduct UGC-NET, GATE, NEET and JEE from October 2017 to March 2018. One of the officials mentioned that if NTS comes into force, it need not look for the funds or resources. The examination fees paid by students will act as resources and makes NTS self-reliant.