BENGALURU: With the University Grants Commission (UGC) deciding to qualify six per cent of all candidates appearing for the National Eligibility Test (NET), an increase is expected in the number of assistant professors and junior research fellows qualifying to work with Indian varsities and colleges from this year.
“It has been decided that six per cent of the total candidates who appear in the UGC-NET examination will be declared qualified. As such the number of candidates who would qualify in the future NET examinations is likely to increase,” read a public notice published by the UGC last week.
This revision has evoked mixed reaction from the teaching and student community with some questioning the quality of the prospective lecturers, while NET aspirants have welcomed it.
“Such a decision to adhere to a pass percentage will result in varied quality of candidates qualifying each year. If majority candidates take the test this year are well-versed intellectually it is good, but what if it is the other way around? This will gradually destroy the educational system,” said Dr Richard Rego S.J., Director, St Joseph’s College Research Centre.
Criticising the multiple choice questioning method of the test, Dr Rego added that no importance was given to recognize intellectual specialty of the candidates. “UGC-NET tests an individual’s luck, but unfortunately not the mettle. Those who qualify for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) therefore are the luckiest (scoring highest) of the lot as compromising on the basic cut-off will occur to keep up the pass percentage to what is decided now. This in turn will affect the quality of research ,” he added. It is high time that the Commission looked into the specifics of each subject, he added.
For Srimathi Perumal, a post graduate preparing for the test this year, a hike in pass percentage alone would not increase the chance of cracking the NET code. “The decision of the board of conduct NET on an annual basis will add to the level of competition. The increase in the share of more candidates clearing the exam is definitely a good news, as more lecturers will be qualified meeting the demands of colleges across the country,” she said. At the same time, Arjun who has taken a break from work to prepare for the test shares his unhappiness on the “hasty decisions” made by the Commission. “I do not understand why revision of dates, qualifying criteria, and reservation policies take place all of a sudden. Advance notification would have reduced confusions for candidates like me,” he said.