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The Human Resource Development ministry will approach the Cabinet while proposing to set up the National Authority for Testing (NAT). It is going to be established in the form of a society and will act as a lean body, while conducting the aptitude test for Class IX, X, XI, and XII students.
The authority has been planned on the lines similar to GRE and SAT. Experts of psychometrics will be consulted in India and abroad, along with taking assistance from Educational Testing Service, responsible for conducting the examinations like GRE and SAT.
In the initial phase, the Government will be providing the funds, but ultimately, it will be made a financially autonomous body.
"We expect that apart from conducting aptitude tests that will help IITs in filtering students for Joint Entrance Examination, NAT in future will be able to conduct similar tests parallel to other entrance examinations," an official said. "We hope that in future aptitude test score will become mandatory for admission across streams, be it engineering or humanities," he added.
The ministry views that the Cabinet clearance will be obtained to help conduct NAT tests at least twice in the first year. This is to shortlist the four lakh students who appeared for the JEE examination. Quarterly, NTA will be conducting aptitude tests. These are designed to test the innovative and scientific thinking of the aspirants. Moreover, these can’t be prepared by joining coaching centers.
More than 40,000 students will be getting their ranks for aspirants of the JEE. They can go in for common counseling too.
Explaining the reason behind aptitude test from class IX, one official said, "It will help assess the child correctly. It will also give a better insight into strength of a child so that he can direct his energy in that direction rather than unnecessarily stressing himself for admission to engineering courses."