Competitive MCQ-Exams/Tests and English Studies: Musings on NET (December 30, 2012) of English.
Thank you University Grants Commission, also known as ‘You Get Cash’, for making me nearly mad during the last National ‘Eligibility’ Test and thereby revealing to me in an epiphanic moment about paper.
Before I go on to my paper, let me make clear in the very outset itself that here we will not discuss the recent lawsuits between UGC and the students. I will not address the issues such as the validity of judicial judgments or the quality and standard of NET. This paper is not for that. Now, with your consent, to my paper. This paper will seek to address the changes in the nature, methodology of study, pattern of questions, the scope, range, and depth of the question papers and other outcomes as a result of the UGC NET becoming competitive on December 27, 2012. I personally feel that any changes in the educational system that may tend to affect the academic community needs to be discussed and debated within the academia. The first important aspect that makes this paper relevant is that NET is no longer National ‘Eligibility’ Test. On December 27, 2012, just 48 hours before the commencement of NET of December it changed for a competitive exam. It not only tests your eligibility to be a College Lecturer but also examines your knowledge according to a particularly set question paper. According to the new norms, the aggregate marks scored by the candidate in all the three papers become the yardstick or measure to determine whether s/he has qualified or not. It is thi criteria for qualification complete only in three steps, which makes it competitive qualifying test. Just as we have it for the Civil Service exams, only top 15 or 10% of the eligible candidates will qualify for JRF according to the new norms. What actually happens is that all papers attain equal weight age in this evaluation system. If somebody tells you “why write the UGC exam, go try the civil...
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