HRD Ministry Wants NET to be Outsourced

The HRD ministry wants UGC’s prestigious National Eligibility Test (NET) — in the news for wrong reasons ranging from mismanagement to asking sexist questions — for lecturer’s job to be outsourced.

On Wednesday, the UGC would consider the ministry’s proposal in its full commission meeting. Sources said, “The ministry wants a serious review of NET. Every year more and more complaints are coming. Moreover, there is a need to review the entire system and outsource the test to a professional body.” The UGC has already constituted a two-member panel to carry out a comprehensive review of the NET, including formatting of examination and support system.

But what could turn acrimonious in the UGC meeting is Delhi University’s four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) and possibility of it being adopted by other universities from the next academic year. “FYUP is not only about DU. It’s a big policy intervention and cannot be extended to other universities without proper discussion,” one member said.

At least three UGC members told TOI they would ask as to why the Commission did not let members raise the issue in the last meeting but within a few days later appointed a panel to oversee FYUP in DU. What has irked one member is that despite his written request to consider FYUP the minutes of Commission’s meeting did not reflect it.

The member had protested to UGC chairperson Ved Prakash, asking him as to why his request was not placed before the commission. “Is it appropriate?” he asked, adding that in case the UGC decided not to accede to the request should that not been made part of the minutes. He had also asked what purpose setting up of a committee by the UGC would serve.

Another member M M Ansari had also written a letter to Prakash stating that setting up of a committee “tantamounts to interfering in the internal functioning of the university.” He had also said UGC’s action of setting up a committee could be interpreted that in future the Commission without due deliberation can approve the launch of degree/diploma programmes of any duration.

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