Government on 22 March announced its intention to conduct the national level tests such as NET and GATE under a centralized body. It intends to discuss the proposal at the forthcoming Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) meet on April 2 before placing it in the Union Cabinet for approval. Announcing the plans, HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju said the “national testing agency would be responsible for setting up question papers, preparing a databank and conducting the test”. He, however, made it clear that joining the body would not be binding and only those who choose to can join in. The body could start functioning as early as next year conducting NET and GATE to begin with, Higher Education secretary Ashok Thakur said, adding NET exam, for example, can be held multiple times once the computerized system is in place. “Overall, there is an unanimity on the proposal and we have held discussions with the management of CBSE, GATE and testing agencies like Prometric”, he said. He also talked about the setting up of a special purpose vehicle to implement the proposal.
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