Central Executive Committee of Students Federation of India strongly condemns the atrocious move by the UGC to scrap the exam scheduled for July, 2017 which will now happen on 19th of November. This also means that the NET exam in December won’t be happening this time. This leads to a situation where under the carpet the ministry is curtailing the bi annual NET examination and making it a yearly event. The number of students qualifying NET exam every will effectively reduce to half if it is held yearly. All this is being done without any policy document of the UGC. The functioning of UGC lacks absolute transparency and this also exposes the nature and authoritarian way of functioning of this government.
In another draconian move they are lowering down the total percentage of students who qualify for NET from 15% under each category to 6% of overall students appearing for NET exam. Although the UGC claims that the reservation criteria will be implemented within this 6% of students who qualify but that will also result in a sharp decrease in the total number of students who qualify NET. This effectively means that the total number of students qualifying NET exam every year will come down to 3% as compared to the current bi-annual mode. There are thousands of teaching posts vacant in higher educational institutions of the country, with drastic reduction in numbers qualifying NET, this is an attack on employment of thousands students who are potential candidates for these teaching posts.
A fraction of the students who qualify NET exam are eligible for Junior Research Fellowship. The lowering of total numbers of those qualifying NET will direct impact the number of students being awarded JRF. The UGC on an earlier instance in the year 2015 had proposed to withdraw Non-NET fellowship which met with vehement protests throughout the nation and UGC was forced to revoke it. This comes as another attack on students pursuing research.
The UGC has also proposed to make NET mandatory for admission to research. NET is an examination which tests the aptitude of teaching it nowhere is aimed to test aptitude of research skills. Equating both cannot be substantiated by any logic. With drastic seat cut in M.Phil/ Phd following the implementation of UGC Gazette Notification, 2016, in effect the government has planned to shut down research.
The SFI calls upon all its units across the country to organize protests from the 17th to 23rd of June against the draconian move of the UGC.