It’s double bonanza for millions of students appearing for the National Eligibility Test (NET) twice every year. While they can now seek copies of previous years’ question papers under Right To Information Act, plans are also afoot to make the test online.
In a landmark order, Central Information Commission (CIC) brushed aside reservations of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on making available NET question papers of previous years. The CSIR had said such a move would affect its plan to hold the NET examination online. The CIC directed the CSIR to provide copies of question papers to RTI applicant Mony Singla of Jind, Haryana, before April 25.
As of now, old question papers are not available and students can only access model question papers. The NET in India is mandatory for appointments in higher education and to get Junior Research Fellowship.
According to CISR, a question bank has been prepared with suitably edited questions from previous years’ papers for the online test. “This way the online question bank may be exposed and it would bring the online examination system to a standstill,” the CSIR told the CIC in a written submission.
The CIC, however, did not agree with this. Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said in that case those setting the question papers need to challenge and improve their skills.
Gandhi quoted practices in several institutions worldwide where question papers are put in public domain.
An example cited in the order was of the GATE examination, where students are allowed to take away question paper after the exam.