To ensure uniform standard of teachers across universities in India, the University Grants Commission has approved the National Eligibility Test (NET) as the minimum eligibility condition for recruitment of lecturers.
“All new appointments of lecturers will have to follow the new regulation,” said UGC chairman Sukhadeo Thorat.
“But candidates who have already been awarded Ph.Ds in compliance with the UGC regulation for minimum standards shall be exempted from the requirement of either NET or SLET.”
Permanent teachers will also be exempted by the new regulation.
“Only Ph.D holders whose course is of high standard will get exemption from NET or SLET to get into teachership in universities and colleges affiliated to UGC. The M Phil holders will have to clear NET or SLET,” said Thorat.
The teaching community welcomed the regulation but with some reservations.
“Any national test is good. But why have both national and state tests?” asked Ujjaini Ray, assistant professor of history at Lady Sri Ram College.
“Moreover, NET in its current form does not really test the teaching and research skills of the candidate. The UGC should look at revising the test format,” Ray said.
The Mungekar committee, set up by the government to recommend minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers, had earlier submitted its interim report. NET or SLET clearance should be mandatory for candidates, it had proposed.
Reverse Brain Drain
Thorat added that many Indians from abroad and foreigners were now interested to come to India and become teachers.
“One of the positive effects of the slowdown has been the return of post-doctoral candidates from abroad. I have received hundreds of e-mails from fellows who want to come back to India,” said Thorat.