In an effort to raise the bar of students seeking to crack the National Eligibility Test (NET) and an overhaul of the examination system, the University Grants Commission has initiated the process to take a relook at the UGC-NET exam.
The exam, which is held twice a year to award
junior research fellowship for PhD, is a pre-requisite for appointment of a lecturer in a college. The UGC awards 8,800 JRF fellowships per year. Around 7 lakh students had appeared for the UGC-NET exam conducted in June this year.
“We have formed a 12-member committee to revisit the exam in totality. This includes a re-look at the format of testing. Essentially the committee will recommend changes on three aspects — pre-conduct, conduct and the post conduct of the exam. The recommendations of the committee will be put before the Commission by November which will take a call on the recommendations,” UGC chairman Prof Ved Prakash said.
Dr D N Reddy, member of the expert committee for reviewing the NET exam, said: “We are having regional consultative meetings in this regard. We are taking feedback from various stakeholders, intellectuals, university professors and students.”
An opinion is being sought on the scheme of examination, subject, syllabus, evaluation process and other issues. The committee will also give its recommendation whether there is a need to outsource the exam and the modalities involved.
Some suggestions that have so far come during regional-level consultations includes having only one paper to test the subject . At present, there are three papers — paper 1 is for testing general aptitude while paper 2 and 3 are for testing the subject knowledge.
There are also suggestions that if there should be three papers, then the third paper should be subjective. Other suggestions made include re-introducing negative marking, holding a two-tier exam like the civil service exams — prelims and mains — essentially to screen the number of students who would be allowed to appear for the exam and holding a separate exam for JRF.
All these suggestions will be reviewed and changes are likely to be implemented in June 2014.
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