The curriculum of NET, a countrywide examination mandatory for people eyeing teaching jobs in colleges and universities in India, will be revised for the first time in a decade, officials of the University Grants Commission have told Hindustan Times.
The UGC, India’s apex education regulator, has set up committees to revise the syllabus of each of the subjects to reflect changes in what is being taught in higher education institutions across the country, according to senior officials.
“The syllabus for the exam has stayed the same though most universities have changed their curriculum over a period of time. We need to reflect those changes... The committees will prepare the draft syllabus and submit it for approval. Once approved a decision will be taken on when to implement it,” said a senior UGC official, requesting anonymity since the information was privileged.
Securing a qualifying score in the National Eligibility Test is must for those applying to be assistant professors – the first rung in college teaching — and for junior research fellows. The test is held twice a year, first in July and later in December.
For now, 25 committees have been drawn up for separate subjects. NET is held for 90 subjects and officials said more committees will be set up to cover all subjects.
According to the source, the panels include people actively engaged in teaching and research.
This is “to ensure the syllabus is more dynamic and is able to meet the current requirement”, the official said.
There is also a plan to turn hold the test only once a year. A senior Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry official said the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has said that it is difficult to carry out the examination twice.
Sources said poor response to the test — 6.5 lakh students register on an average and approximately 1.5 lakh take it, with a pass percentage of only 3.9% — is being seen as a factor behind the proposal to reduce the frequency.
This year, the summer NET exam was delayed and held on November 5.