National Testing Agency? Yes, please. But…

The setting up of NTA (National Testing Agency) as an autonomous institution for conducting exams such as NEET and JEE , that were previously conducted by CBSE is a step in the right direction. At least on paper, things seem to be fair for students from other boards.

But the very fact that the NTA will be chaired by someone appointed by the HRD Ministry and will be initially funded by the Central Government makes me wonder if the Central Board( CBSE) will pressurise NTA to adhere primarily to CBSE students and NTA ends up acceding to it. But one can’t be fully pessimistic, as IIMs turned out to be just fine.

But what would have been fairer, is that all eminent universities should have come together( including private ones) and set up an independent testing agency. That would have granted them full autonomy, with very little government interference. Take for example, the College Board in USA which conducts the SAT. It cannot be controlled in any way by the government, as it is an association set up by eminent Ivy League institutes, and self-funded, as it was set up in Columbia University, a prestigious private university. Central government interference is bound to dissipate, if the big fish, ie, Indian private universities improve their standards and step up and join hands with other public and private universities for a single standardised test, that would not be perfect, but fairer than the existing system. It is all upon private universities now to the bring a skewed system on the right track. Still, only time will tell how ‘autonomous’ NTA truly turns out to be…

P.S. IIMs turned out to be fine , because an IIM is an institute for a Post Graduate degree. There are differences even among Central universities, and private universities are also catching up fast. And the variety of undergrad courses is huge. The school system differs starkly, as there is only one Central Board, and HRD ministry is associated with it, giving CBSE undue advantage. What do you guys think? Let us know in comments!

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