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Kerala HC Directs UGC To Preserve The Answer Sheets of NET

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Court Orders Not to Destroy NET Answer SheetsA Division Bench of the Kerala High Court comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A.M. Shaffique, on Wednesday extended till October 31 its interim order directing the University Grants Commission (UGC) not to destroy the answer sheets of candidates who wrote the National Eligibility Test in June 2012.

The court has passed the order in the petition by about 2000 candidates who are affected by change in the eligibility criteria for the National Eligibility Test (NET) after the examination was over. The petitioners said that the UGC had no authority to change any aggregate minimum for a pass in the test. The petitioners pointed out that the general category candidate had to secure 35 per cent for the first two papers of the exam while he/she has to get 50 per cent for the third paper as per earlier criteria. However, later UGC through an undated post but accepted to be the recent one, published after the examination has added the condition of aggregate marks cut off to qualify for applying to the position of lecturers in UGC affiliated colleges.

It was the moderation committee appointed by the UGC, consisting of senior academicians, which had recommended that the general, OBC (non-creamy layer) and SC/ST candidates would be required to obtain an aggregate percentage of 65, 60 and 55 respectively in addition to the paper-wise minimum percentage as qualifying criteria.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the University Grants Commission defended its decision to increase the minimum marks required for passing the test. It had also been said that the qualifying criteria for Junior Research Fellowship and eligibility for lectureship would be decided by UGC before declaration of results, was clearly stated in the original notification.

“The notification said that the final cut-off would be decided by the Commission before declaration of the results. As such, there would be differences in the qualifying marks,” UGC said.

The statement also added that the National Eligibility Test could not be equated with college examinations. It was a national-level examination being conducted for determining and maintaining the standard of teaching. There was no arbitrariness or discrimination.

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