To povide equality to general class, UGC (University Grant Commission) has decided to change its eligibility criteria for the popular National Eligibility Test (NET). This decision that has been taken recently was after a meeting took place of the higher education regulator.
The test is a determining factor for entry into the higher education profession. It is the University Grants Commission that conducts it through the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The recent decision is that only 6% of the candidates appearing for the NET be declared as qualifying to be eligible for the entry level position of assistant professor and that the reservation policy be applied to this 6%.
The decision comes after the Kerala High Court order changed the existing rule of UGC. Now the top 15 percent students from each of the four reserved categories on the merit list will be declared qualified for eligibility for the post of assistant professor. However, the rule also prescribes lower minimum marks for candidates who belong to the reserved categories. As per the existing UGC standards concerning the method and benchmarks for declaration of NET results, the merit list of candidates who secured minimum marks would be prepared subject-wise as also reserved category-wise (other backward classes, disabled persons, SCs and STs) based on the aggregate marks secured by the candidates in all the three papers and the top 15% candidates in all the categories will be declared NET qualified for eligibility for assistant professors.
The order by the Kerala High Court came after a writ petition was filed by the Nair Service Society. The petitioners argued that the ones from reserved secure minimum marks and yet get qualified for assistant professorship. It is the general categories that is at stake, according to them. The UGC set up a committee after the order and recommended for that reason that no more than 6% candidates be declared to have qualified the NET meaning thereby, that if 600,000 candidates appear in UGC-NET in a particular cycle, 6% of those, i.e., 36,000 qualifying slots for eligibility for an assistant professor are to be earmarked for different categories as per the Centre’s policy in this regard.