In a recently held high level review meeting, HRD minister Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank instructed National Testing Agency (NTA) to provide a revised syllabus for competitive exams after assessment of the existing scenario in various boards. This indicates that the syllabus for national level examinations like JEE Main 2021 and NEET 2021 can be heavily reduced or changes.
The review meet was chaired by Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and the purpose of it was to discuss the needed changes in various educational schemes and programmes. The minister informed the same in his twitter account, where he tweeted: “It was also decided that @DG_NTA will come out with the syllabus for competitive exams after assessment of the existing scenario in various boards.”
It is speculated that the decision has been taken in light of the pandemic and loss of studies due to it. School boards, like Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), has already reduced class 12th syllabus by 30%. Apart from CBSE, there are various other state boards Manipur, Bihar, UP, WB, Odisha, etc which has also reduced the syllabus for the board exam.
The syllabus of JEE Main and NEET is said to be prepared on the basis of CBSE class 11 and 12 syllabus. However, while determining the syllabus, the other state boards are not neglected. Hence, it is now a need of an hour that the syllabus for JEE Main 2021 and NEET 2021 should be changed as per the current school board syllabus.
In the meeting, it was also decided that there will be a campaign seeking the views of the students, parents & teachers on how and when to conduct the exams next year. The campaign will be launched soon by the Ministry of Education. Dr. Pokhriyal also address UGC and asked it to ensure that all scholarships, fellowships are disbursed in time. He further asked University Grants Commission to start helpline and start addressing the grievances of the students. .
Talking about the exam dates of national level competitive entrance exam like NEET and JEE Main, earlier on November 24, 2020, Director of the National Testing Agency (NTA), Dr. Vineet Joshi, confirmed that the first attempt of Joint Engineering Examination (JEE) Main 2021 will not be held in the month of January but in February or so.
He added the exam dates are yet to be decided, however, te application forms for the national level exam will be available soon.
The academic session for 2021-22 is facing major delay as most of the states have closed their physical schooling until December 31, 2020. Due to this, the conduction of the board exams for classes 10 and 12 seems an issue as per the usual schedule, that is in Feb-Mar. Teachers have also shared concerns over conducting board exams without physical classes. They have suggested an extension of the session and a time of at least 3 months between school reopening and conducting Class 10, 12 board exam.
COVID-19 outbreak has affected the education front largely. Seeking clarification for the exam dates, Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik has written a letter to the Prime Minister of the nation, Narendra Modi. He suggested in the letter that a national guideline and a tentative timeline of the board exams will allow the candidates to plan well for their exams. Also, he added that all competitive entrance examinations and admission in institutions of higher education are interlinked. Therefore national guidelines with tentative timelines will help the States for framing an appropriate strategy. It will also help students, who are anxious about the examination dates, to plan and prepare accordingly.