In a bid to improve its efficiency and functioning, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to do away with conducting of National Eligibility Test (NET) from next year and already conveyed its message to the University Grants Commission in furtherance of its intentions. According to officials, CBSE chairperson R K Chaturvedi has written to UGC chairperson Ved Prakash asking the Commission to take over the process of conducting of the NET which is slated to be held in January 2017.
The Board has mentioned in its message that the reason to do so is because of the board’s inability to handle too many eggs in a single basket, i.e. look into the day-to-day conduct of education in the country and other processes associated with such tasks on one hand and conducting eligibility test for colleges and universities.
NET is used as qualifying criteria for college and university level lecturer jobs as well as Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). NET acts as a litmus test to ensure minimum standards for the new entrants into the field of education for teaching and research.
Since its conception, CBSE had been conducting the NET on behalf of UGC. According to a CBSE official, “The decision of the CBSE for not conducting UGC-NET from 2017 onwards is based on very cogent administrative reasons. It has been categorically conveyed to the UGC to take over the NET exam from January 2017 and the Board will extend technical support if needed.”
CBSE is already overburdened with the hassles and workload involved in maintaining and ensuring a robust educational environment in the country and hence it has taken the decision in order to focus on its core areas and ameliorate the quality of education, the same officials said, adding that Mr. Chaturvedi had addressed his letter to the UGC chairman and not the HRD Ministry.
In face of this development, an HRD ministry official said the CBSE has expressed a view that it has been holding examinations ranging from entrance to undergraduate courses, to recruitment for institutions like Kendriya Vidyalayas and UGC-NET which stretch its resources and proving tough to manage considering the humongous strength of school students in the country.
If it is really required, the ministry may still ask the CBSE to conduct some of the exams, the HRD ministry official added, as the sudden move may cause undue squabble which may arise in future.