NET thinner but shorter

New Delhi: The National Eligibility Test (NET), for selection of teachers to colleges and universities, will see a 15 per cent cut in questions with 40 per cent less time to answer them.

The changes in the exam pattern, decided on at a University Grants Commission (UGC)meeting in December 2017, will come into effect with the next NET exam, scheduled for July 8, 2018. 

Top scorers in NET are awarded the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), under which they receive a monthly stipend of Rs 25,000 for the first two years and Rs 28,000 for the next three years to pursue research. They have to begin the research within two years of receiving the fellowship.

The upper age limit for JRF has been raised to 30 years from 28 years. Its validity has also been extended to three years from two years. As before, there will be no age limit to apply for the post of assistant professors in universities and colleges.

Delhi Univesity teacher Rajesh Jha, who is also a member its executive council - the varsity's highest decision-making body, said the single change that is required to improve NET is the introduction of subjective-type questions.

"The UGC is changing the pattern frequently. But the cosmetic changes mean nothing. Every candidate is different. Their difference in terms of teaching skills and subject knowledge is not captured in the objective-type test," Jha said.

Paper I will continue to ask 50 questions, carrying two marks each, to assess teaching and research aptitude. Paper II shall consist of 100 objective-type questions, also of two marks each, based on the subject selected by the student.

"The duration has been reduced substantially. It will be difficult to answer all the questions," said Banshidhar Deep, a student from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Deep, however, welcomed the changes on JRF.

General category candidates are required to secure 40 per cent aggregate marks in both papers while reserved category students need to secure 35 per cent aggregate marks to be eligible for JRF. The UGC had last year changed the norms for qualification of NET exam.



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