In a move that will alter the way entrance examinations to IITs and other top engineering institutes are conducted, the Human Resource Development Ministry is working to establish a National Authority for Testing (NAT) to assess the abilities of aspirants before they appear for JEE.
The NAT is proposed to be established in the coming months and its first major task would be to conduct tests in the latter half of the year.
The scores obtained in NAT test would form the basis for shortlisting candidates for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE-advanced) 2017. JEE-advanced test is conducted for entrance to the IITs.
The HRD Ministry may soon seek the nod of the Union Cabinet for setting up the testing agency.
The HRD ministry began working on the proposal for setting up the NAT after a committee constituted by the IIT council recommended changes to entrance examination structure for these prestigious institutes including setting up of a National Testing Service.
As per the recommendations, the testing service would hold tests on the basis of which around four lakh students would be shortlisted for JEE.
The committee had held that the JEE itself will be on the lines of the current JEE (advanced) and designed to test knowledge in physics, chemistry and mathematics. It will be conducted by the IITs.
The committee had recommended that 40,000 odd examinees would then be given ranks after which they can seek admission to IITs and NITs based on a common counselling.
Many of the recommendations of the Ashok Mishra-led Committee of Eminent Persons (CEP), which submitted its report to the government on November 5 last year, were aimed at weaning away IIT aspirants from coaching institutes.