Delhi HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Reduction Of Qualifying Candidates To 6% In NET by UGC
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice on a plea challenging the UGC policy of declaring only 6% of those candidates as NET qualified, who appear in both the papers and obtain minimum qualifying marks in aggregate of both the papers.
In his plea, an aggrieved student Kush Kalra, who could not clear the NET Exam 2018, submitted that the aim of conducting NET exam was merely to check the “eligibility” of a candidate to be an Assistant Professor in India. However, only allowing 6 percent candidates to be declared as passed in NET exams was making it a competitive exam and diluting its real purpose.
Kalra insisted that the minimum required score prescribed by UGC for the NET Eligibility exam was 40 percent for general candidates and 35 percent for unreserved candidates and that the same should be the criteria for determining “eligibility”.
Clause 13 of the Information Bulletin, governing the University Grant Commission- National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) stipulates that 6% of the candidates, who appear in both papers of NET, would alone be treated as eligible.
“all the eligibility exams have a minimum required score to be obtained by the candidate after which a candidate is declared successful, unlike the UGC NET exam which provides for clearing only 6% candidates in merit list to be NET qualified,” and he accordingly prayed that the Respondent authorities be directed to allow all the candidates who secure more than 40% marks in both papers to be UGC NET qualified.
He further argued that the 6% rule was unconstitutional and arbitrary inasmuch as the Respondent authorities had no basis or justification for reaching the 6 percent figure. Rather, earlier, 15% of those candidates who appeared in both the papers and obtained minimum qualifying marks were declared qualified.
He also challenged the application of the same formula of clearing only 6 percent candidates in all streams, despite there being different cut off marks for different subjects. “The respondents make merit list of candidates and clear only 6% candidates out of all streams without looking at basis of cutoff marks which are different for different stream,” he said.
Lastly, he contended that it was a common trend of the NET exam that people who clear it, try for NET Junior Research Fellowship. This in turn has the effect of spoiling one seat of NET aspirant since respondents have no mechanism to separately allow the NET JRF candidates to compete for NET JRF Fellowship and have no mechanism to check if a NET JRF candidate again clears NET exam out of total pool of 6% candidates, which in turn results in candidates clearing NET exam twice, thrice or more just to clear NET JRF exam.
Arguing that this practice had resulted in shortage of competent and eligible faulty in universities and colleges across India, the Petitioner prayed that the Respondents be directed to make sure that NET JRF aspirants are not clubbed with UGC -NET aspirants in determining the results for NET exam.
In view of the aforesaid, Kalra also prayed that the UGC-NET Exam 2018 be cancelled and the forthcoming UGC-NET exam 2019 be stayed till the petition is pending.
The Petitioner is being represented by Advocate G. Sivabalamurugan, the Union of India by Senior Advocate Avnish Singh and UGC by Advocate Arjun Harkauli.