“It is not the core work of CBSE to conduct NET but it has still been carrying it out for the past few years” said a senior HRD (Human Resource Development) official. Lately, the news has circulated that CBSE UGC NET will allow only 1 attempt at the examination, starting 2018. This herculean task of carrying a non-core set of roles and responsibilities effectively, i.e. conducting UGC NET has not yielded fruitful results for efforts made by CBSE. The Central Board of Secondary Education has expressed its immense dismay of conducting the exam since it’s not their job to UGC; however UGC had turned the request down.
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Why this decision?
Central Board of Secondary Education has carried out the responsibility of conducting UGC NET effectively even though it is not a part of their core tasks and responsibilities. Approximately 6 lakh and 50 thousand students register for the exam every year. Sadly, only 1 lakh 50 thousand students clear the exam. The pass percentage of the exam is a figure as low as 3.9-4.0%. One rationale offered by an appearing candidate was- if the reason behind conducting the exam is to ensure the sincerity of an appearing aspirant towards JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) or Assistant Professor in a university, then the cost involved in conducting the exam such as allocating seats, online registration formalities, invigilators cost are stupendously high. Perhaps the decision is right on CBSE’s part.
Scope for future aspirants has certainly entered a sharp bent of competition, but it has also ensured that the efforts are worth the results. The final verdict by HRD is yet to be declared but the prolonged decision of passing the authority of conducting the exam has placed CBSE in a difficult predicament too.
One major drawback to the decision is that the students who are going to cross the age limit may no longer be eligible for the examination in 2018. Although the decision could have been implemented in 2019, leaving room for the changes to adapt to, but the reforms in the examination dates led to the postponement of June 2017 exam to November 2017. Hence, only one exam may now take place in 2017, if the verdict favors CBSE.
CBSE initially agreed to conduct the exam till the NTS(National Testing Service) is formed but being the sole union who takes care of the examinations, the decision to conduct one exam a year has already set a negative precedent for NTS, before it even got inaugurated. Student body organizations such as SIO (Students Islamic Organization of India) has filed petition in the Supreme Court requesting CBSE to suspend its decision. If the verdict is not in favor for SIO, many student lives will be jeopardized as they have reached the upper age limit for the exam eligibility and may not be eligible for December 2017 exam.
With the pass percentage of 3.9%, the decision to conduct the CBSE UGC NET once a year will allow candidates to be more sincere. In return, the cost of conducting the examination can be minimized and focus can be diverted towards CBSE’s core activities in educational reforms. So far the postponed exam for UGC NET 2017 is in November 2017. The decision by HRD may help put things in clear perspective and allow CBSE to allocate its budget in conducting another exam for the candidates who have reached upper age limit and enrolled for UGC NET December 2017.
CBSE is a body that has focused upon the educational reforms. Seldom there have been instances where the candidate lives were jeopardized due to spur of the moment decisions by CBSE. Special arrangements may be made for appearing aspirants so that the candidates may appear in the 2017 examination for the last time if they have reached the upper age limit, however the final verdict decides the future course of actions.
Many students are in favor of the decision that only attempt at CBSE UGC NET exam should exist, while many seems to have a different perspective and reasoning behind it.