National Eligibility Test
The National Eligibility Test (NET) is a test to determine eligibility for college and university level lectureship and for award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) for Indian nationals. It aims to ensure minimum standards for the entrants in teaching professions and research. On behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC), the Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE) holds the test for determining the eligibility of Indian nationals for the Eligibility for Assistant Professor only or Junior Research Fellowship & Eligibility for Assistant Professor Both in Indian universities and colleges.
NET qualified persons are eligible for jobs in public sector
University Grants Commission (UGC) announced in 2013 that the candidates who clear the NET successfully would be eligible for lucrative jobs in public sector undertakings (PSUs). PSUs can utilise UGC-NET scores for the recruitment process of the posts of executives in their organisations in disciplines like science (R&D), management, corporate communications, human resources, finance, etc. This step taken by the UGC would also increase the number of students taking the UGC-NET examination which has witnessed a gradual decline in recent years.
A section of academics advocated the abolition of the National Eligibility Test, but the All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (AIFUCTO) strongly opposed attempts to scrap the test. The organization advocated that the test improves the standard of teaching in the country and instead of abolishing it altogether the government must revisit some of its provisions that are making it flawed and un-implementable.
The NET of June 2012 was the most controversial examination because its results were published on 18 September 2012 , but after the publication of results, the Commission allegedly altered the Test’s qualification norms by mandating that candidates in the general category score an aggregate of 65 per cent for all three of the NET’s papers to become eligible for lectureship. The corresponding figure for the Other Backward Class (OBC) category is 60 per cent and that of the SC/ST category is 55 per cent. According to the appearing students, in the original notification of the UGC it was specified that candidates in the general category should score at least 40 per cent for papers one and two and 50 per cent for paper three to be eligible for consideration for the final preparation of the result.
UGC set an aggregate pass criteria General -65%, OBC - 60% and SC/ST - 55%. In the light of the student protests and representations, the UGC released a supplementary list on 12 November 2012, which lthough it qualified a few more candidates, it did not specify any criteria for the revised list. Added to this was the fact that there were anomalies in the results declared where candidates securing less than 50 percent aggregate were declared as qualified whereas many general candidates with more 60 percent remained unqualified.
More than 7,000 candidates approached the Kerala High Court against the University Grants Commission. The Kerala High court declared as illegal the new norms fixed by UGC for the NET for college and university lectureship. The court held that fixing of higher aggregate marks for three categories (General, OBC and SC/ST), that too just before the announcements of results, cannot be justified as the same was "not supportable by law".
In the light of this judgement, the University Grants Commission added the specific note "NOTIFICATION REGARDING PROCEDURE AND CRITERIA FOR DECLARATION OF RESULT OF UGC NET TO BE HELD ON 30TH DECEMBER, 2012 " on its website just two days before the examination. It also listed stepwise clearance criteria for candidates of different categories and subjects according to the competitive cutoffs fixed by the University Grants Commission, with an aim to clear top 15 percent candidates only.
UGC NET is no longer compulsory for becoming assistant professors in colleges and universities. Individuals who completed a PH.D before 2009 would be eligible for lectureship without clearing the NET.
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- ""UGC-NET should not be abolished: AIFUCTO"". India Education Review. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
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- ""UGC NET June 2012 Result Supplementary List"" (PDF). http://www.ugcnetonline.in. Retrieved 3 January 2013. External link in
- ""UGC norms for NET declared illegal by Kerala High Court"". New Indian Express. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
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