Students Protest at UGC Demanding Bi-Annual NET

New Delhi ( S.B.team ) Students in different Universities across the country protested today against scrapping of June/July NET, scuttling of Bi-Annual NET exam, 6% restrictive cap on number of NET qualifications and reduction in number of JRF. In Delhi, students from different universities in Delhi held protest at the UGC Head Office.

The Bi-Annual  NET exam is being scuttled in a surreptitious way. Lakhs of students every year appear for NET as it is the most important qualification criterion for appearing for Assistant Professorship or research seat. Earlier in April the CBSE expressed its unwillingness to conduct NET exam causing uncertainty over the exam. After students protested against CBSE’s declaration, the then Chairperson of UGC gave press statement saying NET will happen in time and the CBSE has been convinced to hold the exam. Students started waiting and preparing for the June-July NET exam for 2017. But the notification declaring the next exam only came out on 6th June declaring NET for 19th November. This clearly means the June-July NET has been skipped. In the mean time some reports came out that the MHRD is considering to hold NET only once a year. Thus, skipping of July NET is a part of the process of scuttling bi-annual NET. Several news papers and portals also reported that the cap for the number of NET qualification which has been 15% of the total number of students, who scored over the eligibility marks, is being reduced to 6%. The dual move of scrapping bi-annual NET and putting restrictive cap of 6% will drastically reduce the number of students who qualify NET. This will not only deny opportunities for research and employment to thousands of students but also reduce the number of Junior Research Fellowship every year.  Earlier, the UGC tried to stop Non-NET fellowship and now research scholarship like the JRF is being scuttled in a surreptitious way.

Students protesting at UGC Head Office today demanded that the UGC chairperson must come out and give clarification. The police tried to forcibly disperse the students. But the students resisted and demanded that until the UGC answers to the students they will not leave the place. The Additional Secretary of UGC Ms. Pankaj Mittal came out and talked to the students and gave the following response to the queries of students-

1.      The MHRD is talking to the CBSE about whether NET will be bi-annual or not.

2.      She could not give any answer about what happened to June-July, 2017 NET.

3.      She said the 6% cap will not reduce the number of NET qualification. Although she could not explain why.

4.      She said she will talk to the UGC chairperson on giving clear notification in this regard in the UGC website.

AISA National President Sucheta De said, “It is extremely unfortunate and shameful to know that the UGC is not even in dialogue with the MHRD about the future of bi-annual NET. CBSE is only responsible for conducting the exam. The MHRD and UGC cannot escape their responsibility in conducting bi-annual NET. Also no vague response on the number of NET qualification and JRF can be accepted. The UGC and MHRD want to destroy opportunities of employment and research in the country. We will resist it.”

Niraj Kumar, AISA Delhi State President said, “We have given a deadline of one week to the UGC to come out with clear notifications in its website regarding the future of bi-annual NET, cap for NET qualification and number of JRF. If the UGC fails in transparently communicating to the students within one week, the movement will intensify. Students will not be fooled anymore by UGC’s ambiguous press statements. We will not accept any move by the MHRD to reduce number of JRF and NET.”

Sandip Saurav, National General Secretary of AISA said, “Students all across the country are anxious and angry over the attempts to scuttle NET. This government is scuttling every opportunity of employment and higher education and is spreading hatred in the name of religion and food to escape from answering these questions.”

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