Exemption of PhD Holders from NET/SET Face Opposition from Teachers
Many teachers, members of the National Forum for Quality Education and All India NET/SET Teachers Organisation submitted their request for making the National Eligibility Test (NET) and State Eligibility Test (SET) as the recruitment exam to the Kasturirangan Committee, tasked with drafting National Education Policy (NEP).
They mentioned in the request that there shouldn’t be any exemption for PhD holders, and they should also qualify both the entrance exams.
At present, NET/SET is considered only as an eligibility test, and the recruitment is solely based on personal interviews.
University Grant Commission had exempted PhD holders from the eligibility test to be appointed as teachers, through 2018 regulation.
In 2018, UGC declared the new regulation even after the massive opposition from the teachers. The teachers had claimed that the new regulation is unfair to 8 lakh qualified candidates in India and will lead to the dilution of research standards.
Recently, UGC had made the ‘Research and Publication Ethics’ credit course compulsory for all PhD students as part of the pre-registration course work.
Ramesh N Zade, president of the National Forum for Quality Education, stated that the introduction of these courses on Misconduct and Publication ethics is just a farce to legalize the exemption of PhD holders from the NET/SET examinations.
Kushal M Mude, the convener of all India NET SET organization, says if PhD is removed from the eligibility for teaching positions and promotions, its quality, ethics, and standard will definitely improve.
Both the bodies have noted the importance of NET/SET upheld by different committees between 1983 and 2016 in their feedback and suggestions to the NEP draft committee.
In 1983, Mehrotra committee comprised of 18 members had prescribed NET qualification as an essential condition for the lecturer recruitment in colleges and universities after a comprehensive survey and deliberations. They had pointed out that this shouldn’t be relaxed even for the MPhil and PhD holders. In 1986, NEP introduced these regulations after a discussion in the parliament. Mungekar Committee, in its final report, removed exemptions to MPhil and PhD in 2007.
In April 2016, the five-membered TSR Subramanian Committee presented the report on ‘Evolution of New Education Policy’ which suggested NET/SET as mandatory for teachers recruitment in higher education. The committee had noted that as a result of NET, there was an improvement in the quality of teachers joining higher education.