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UGC-NET pattern to stay?

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UGC-NET pattern to stay? The National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) may not have a sea change this year,...

Hyderabad: The National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) may not have a sea change this year, said Prof. B Rajeshwar Reddy, co-ordinator, UGC-NET on Wednesday.
According to the co-ordinator, the UGC is likely to re-introduce negative marking in the test. “After much deliberations, paper III was changed to multiple choice questions. I don’t think descriptive part would be re-introduced this year,” added Rajeshwar.
“The commission wants to get rid of the extra burden by not introducing the descriptive part in the paper III. Descriptive part gives good scope for the evaluator to access the subject knowledge of an aspirant. How can one judge with just multiple choice questions,” said a senior faculty from OU Arts College.
“Moreover, the OMR sheets give huge relief for the commission as they needn’t recruit evaluators, thereby hitting the quality of students passing out NET,” the professor added.
The notification for the UGC-NET is likely to be released in the last week of April and examination would be held in June. “If negative marking is re-introduced, it would be a big blow for the aspirants. If negative scoring comes into the effect, the pass percentage would slip down,” said Vijay, student, OU.
The NET is the gateway for the lecturer’s post in a college or university. Although the test scrutinises subject knowledge of an aspirant, lacks the mechanism to test the communication skills an aspirant, thereby affecting students. “Not everyone who qualifies for the NET is good at communication skills. About 30 per cent of qualified candidates lag behind in it. One can overcome this by undergoing orientation classes conducted by the universities and colleges. Most faculty members go for orientation programme. But how many actually benefit out of it is again a million dollar question,” said Rajeshwar Reddy.
Last year the commission had wide range consultations with various stake holders from members across the universities of southern region. “In our recommendations, we requested the commission to re-introduce negative marking in the examination. We also proposed for the descriptive part in the paper III. Evaluation of the descriptive paper III requires a lot of manpower, time and also evaluation varies from one person to another but it tests student’s knowledge over the subject. It would be a challenge for the commission to release the results on time if descriptive paper is reintroduced.
Not just the faculty, students also were also of the same opinion who took part in the consultations that paper III be descriptive. “Students in their feedback said that paper III should be descriptive instead of objective type, i.e. UGC should get back the earlier exam pattern. They also suggested a half hour break between the exams and that the standard of difficulty in questions is reduced,” said the UGC-NET, co-ordinator.
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