The Union Cabinet on Friday approved the creation of a National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.Its creation will relieve the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – which conducts exams like the National Eligibilty-cum-Entrance Test – and the All India Council for Technical Education of the burden of conducting entrance tests.The Hindu had first reported on December 13, 2016, about the Centre’s move to set up the NTA.“The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the creation of a National Testing Agency (NTA) as a Society registered under the Indian Society Registration Act, 1860, and as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions,” said a press release.The NTA will begin by conducting exams managed by the CBSE and gradually conduct other examinations too. “The entrance examinations will be conducted in online mode at least twice a year, thereby giving adequate opportunity to candidates to bring out their best,” the release added. “In order to serve the requirements of the rural students, it would locate the centres at sub-district/district level and as far as possible would undertake hands-on training to the students.”The NTA will be chaired by an eminent educationist appointed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. There will be a Board of Governors comprising members from user institutions.The Centre will give an initial grant of ₹25-crore to the NTA to start its operations in the first year. Thereafter, it will be self-sustaining.“Establishment of NTA will benefit about 40 lakh students appearing in various entrance examinations. It will… also bring in high reliability, standardized difficulty level for assessing the aptitude, intelligence and problem solving abilities of the students,” the release said.