Those aspiring for a college teacher’s job are likely to get only one attempt in a year to clear the National Eligibility Test (NET), the eligibility criterion for getting a job of assistant professor in colleges and universities.
According to sources, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has conveyed to the HRD ministry that it is not in favour of conducting the exam twice in a year. In case the ministry accepts the plea of the CBSE, a single exam will be conducted next year. The HRD ministry is likely to take a call on the issue soon.
The exam has traditionally been held twice a year — July and December — for the grant of junior research fellowship and recruitment of assistant professors in universities and colleges.
“It is not the core work of the CBSE to conduct the NET exam but it has still been carrying it out for the past few years, but it is a difficult exercise and it has conveyed to the ministry that the board is not in a position to conduct it twice in a year. Class 10 board exams have been reintroduced so it (the CBSE) will be preoccupied with that too,” said a senior HRD official.
Earlier this year, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had said that the CBSE will continue to conduct the exam even as the board had last year expressed its inability to do so.
“The CBSE has agreed to conduct the exam till the National Testing Service is formed, which will conduct all competitive examinations. However, the CBSE has conveyed to the HRD ministry and the UGC that the exam should be conducted once a year as a lot of time and energy is spent on organising it and only a few people take the exam,” said a source.
According to a senior HRD official, looking at the poor response to the test — 6.5 lakh students register for the exam on an average and approximately 1.5 lakh take it, with a pass percentage of only 3.9% — it was also being suggested that the exam should be conducted just once.
Qualification in NET is a must for recruitment of teachers at colleges and universities. This year, the NET exam has been delayed and is being conducted on November 5 by the CBSE.
The Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) had filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking the CBSE to take back its decision to suspend the tests. It had also said that the government should conduct one more session in 2017 for students who are crossing the age limit.