As per the notification on January 15, 2016, the Human Resource Development Ministry had planned to arrange a National Level Screening Test for the Joint Entrance Examination aspirants. Even the teams of experts were of the view that though the test has been proposed to be a measure to minimize coaching needs, it could push the candidates to get more help to prepare for the exam. However, as of now, the aspirants who are preparing for Joint Entrance Exam (JEE 2017) may not have to give an aptitude test for the same as it has been scrapped by the Ministry of HRD. The Aptitude Test was being conducted to filter students before taking a single national level entrance test for admissions in various engineering institutes, including the IITs and NITs. Hence, there won’t be any change in the existing two-tier pattern of JEE – Main and Advanced.
The government had to drop the idea after Department of School Education and Literacy of HRD ministry pointed out that the aptitude test would ‘go against the principle of equity in education’ as it would put marginalized class students on an unsure footing. The possible problems that might be faced by the students hailing from rural and semi-urban backgrounds made the government drop the idea of the aptitude test.
If seen from the other point of view, the aforesaid statement is a prolonged misconception that students from the rural background would have lagged behind in the aptitude test. It might be the case that those students are not that good in language but are far superior to urban students. What is that the department of ministry is trying to symbolize by the statement when every now the efforts is being taken by the Government in power to deliver the best to all the students out there. “It is unfortunate that it has been shelved even without trying once.”
As of now even the plan to formulate National Authority for Testing (NAT) has also been kept aside. Moreover, the IITs don’t want to forego their aptitude test in place of a single entrance test despite being asked by the HRD ministry in which more than 12 lakh students appear. They want it to remain the same like JEE (Advanced) in which fewer students appear after clearing JEE (Main).
On February 20, a meeting was held in Hyderabad wherein directors of IITs and central government representatives participated in deciding over the implementation of National Aptitude Test (NAT) in place of the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE Main), but no decision was taken.