The academic job portal created recently by the University Grants Commission to help National Eligibility Test (NET), State Eligibility Test (SET) and Ph.D. qualified candidates find suitable jobs could serve as a motivation for postgraduate students to take up the tests, according to professionals associated with training of aspiring candidates.

The new initiative by UGC is meant to bring the profile of the qualified candidates to the attention of universities, colleges and other employers. The portal facilitates candidates to register and create their profile online in order to enable employers to make the right choice for their vacancies.

The employers register and post the job vacancies for candidates to apply.

So far, 16,020 NET-passed candidates, 4,661 with NET-JRF (Junior Research Fellowship), 3,343 with SET, and 7,846 candidates with Ph.D. qualification have registered with the UGC, according to official statistics furnished in its website.

The pass percentage of candidates from Tamil Nadu in NET has been dismal, despite conduct of free coaching for NET/JRF by universities under the ‘Merged Scheme’ funded by the University Grants Scheme during the 11 plan period.

In fact, the universities are not able to spend the entire fund sanctioned for the purpose by the UGC due to inadequate patronage.

Such a situation had arisen despite the fact that the free coaching was being conducted during week-ends and the candidates were also given with refreshments under the scheme.

Teachers in self-financing colleges who realise the utility of passing in NET and SET only at a later stage usually attend the programme.

Shorn of time for preparation due to family commitments and the work pressure, they find themselves in a disadvantageous situation. Fresh postgraduates turn up only in less numbers, according to the trainers.

Awareness must be increased in colleges among students about the avenue for accelerated academic progress that NET and SET provide.

Students must be motivated in colleges to work hard for passing these examinations, according to S. Iyyampillai, former Coordinator, UGC Merged Scheme.

Last year, the extent of candidates found eligible for JRF was less than one-fifth of the advertised number.

A drastic change in the mindset of students has become necessary.

Colleges need to drive home the reality that meritorious candidates can excel in these examinations, Prof. Iyyampillai said.