The aptitude for research and teaching continues to rise among the students of the State as nearly 16,500 students took the National Eligibility Test on Sunday, seeking to become lecturers or researchers in numerous organisations. Last year, close to 10,000 students had taken the test. This year, computer science, commerce and Management subjects emerged as the most preferred subjects to study as most students opted for them. “Now that the UGC has imposed stricter qualification norms for teachers, students are taking NET very seriously. Also, with a large number of colleges around, graduates are increasingly viewing teaching as a preferable career option, which is a very good thing,” said S. Gurusamy, coordinator, NET, at the University of Madras. The exam was held in 14 centres in 93 subjects, across the city.

The test, however was not, free of glitches. Many students till Saturday had not received their admit cards, and had to come to the University to get them and know their centre.

Others such as Sunand Simon faced other problems as well. “They gave me a defence and strategy paper while I had applied for International Relations. Then, they asked me to go to another centre. It was too late then, so I just left. Officials will never understand how such glitches can mar a student’s career. All my plans have to changed now,” he said.

The same issue was experienced by many other aspirants who complained they were given question papers of subjects that they had not applied for. “I was given history, and then asked to go to another centre. There was nobody to guide us,” said Meenakshi, K. a student from Thiruvallur, who had applied for Physics.

The experience was especially unfortunate for these aspirants as this year’s paper had objective questions and did not carry negative marking. “This was the first time this was allowed and I was very excited about this pattern,” said Sunand.

Officials at the University of Madras, however, said that the problems that had cropped up earlier were sorted out.

NET exams are conducted twice every year, in June and December. The exams are conducted to determine candidate’s eligibility for lectureship and for the award of JRF (Junior Research Fellowship).

The candidates who qualify for the award of JRF will be eligible to pursue research in the subject of their PG or in a related subject.

The result of the exam will be made available on the UGC websites www.ugc.ac.in and www.ugcnetonline.in in the month of October, said UGC officials.

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Teaching & LearningSeptember 24, 2010

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