Make NET mandatory for lecturers

The UGC’s decision to accept the Mangekar Committee’s recommendations to discontinue the mandatory NET examination for appointment of lecturers in colleges and universities has wider ramifications. The committee has recommended Ph.D, instead of NET, as the criterion for appointment. This decision, if implemented, will dilute the academic standards in the colleges and universities.

The decision per se is flawed for various reasons. Teaching in colleges and universities has become a source of employment for mediocre and indolent heirs of the power elite. To please VIP protégés, sycophants please these sections by making them doctorates.

Nowadays, getting a Ph.D either for additional increments or seeking exemption from the NET has become a lucrative profession. It requires plagiarism, patronage, sycophancy, data manipulation and appointment of convenient examiners for getting a research degree.

On various occasions, the Supreme Court has upheld the NET as a uniform and basic criterion for appointment of lecturers. To qualify in this test, a candidate will have to possess comprehensive ability, general awareness, intelligence, teaching ability and, above all, core competency in the subject concerned.


Unfortunately, India does not have a national body to evaluate and grade the awarded degree on the basis of rigorous research methodology, stimulating knowledge, publications in reputed journals, statistical analytical tools, contribution in theory building and application in the relevant field.

Dr RAJ KUMARSIWACH, Lecturer in Public Admn., Ch. Devi Lal University, Sirsa


The decision on scrapping the NET has been taken in haste. That is why, the UGC Chairperson did not explain the rationale behind this decision. No doubt, holders of research degrees like Ph.D and M.Phil should be given priority but NET should not be scrapped as the basic qualification for the post of lecturer.

Secondly, the decision will create problems for those who have cleared the NET but do not have Ph. D or M. Phil degree — a pre-requisite for the post of ad hoc lecturers in most colleges.

And thirdly, though a research degree holder has his/her own relevance in the system, now everyone will become a “researcher” after joining M.Phil or Ph.D because it has become the shortcut to success. The UGC Chairperson should make it clear that priority will be given to those clearing the NET.


Hindi in Punjab

Though Hindi is our Rashtra Bhasha, it has been neglected in Punjab, thanks to the apathy of the state government. At present, it is regarded as the fourth grade language in Punjab.

Recently, the state government has decided to establish an academy for spreading Urdu language. Now to popularise Punjabi, the government has set up a World Punjabi Centre at Patiala, simultaneously underscoring the need to promote English as the link language to help youth have a competitive edge in the global market.

But what about Hindi? Successive governments have not bothered to promote the cause of Hindi. Even the BJP-led NDA government has never raised its voice against the pathetic status of Hindi in Punjab. Ignoring Hindi does not augur well for the nation.

T.R. GOYAL, Chandigarh

Dumb creatures

I refer to the news-item, “Big cats forced to diet at Chhatbir” (May 26). While Rs 80 lakh were spent on two days during Railway Minister Lalu Prasad’s visit to Shimla, the animals of Chhatbir zoo were not even fed a full meal because of the contractor’s attitude, consequent to the increase in the price of meat.

While money was no constraint for the government in extending hospitality to Laluji, fund crunch forced big cats to remain half fed. Alas! If only the dumb creatures could express themselves.

NEELA SOOD, Chandigarh

Indo-Pak ties

I refer to the news-item “Pak prisoners may get varsity degrees” (May 27). It is good news in the context of improving confidence building measures between our two countries. It is encouraging to note that Pakistani and Bangladeshi prisoners in India will be given university degrees. Pakistan will definitely reciprocate such a gesture. The bonds of friendship between India and Pakistan will improve if such measures are taken from time to time.

Prof P.K. GUPTA, Bathinda

Shatabdi then and now

When the Shatabdi Express was conceived between New Delhi and Chandigarh, it was supposed to provide a three-hour journey between both places. Passengers could conveniently return in the evening after transacting their business.

On pressure from petty provincial politicians, two additional stops — Panipat and Kurukshetra — have been added. The journey now takes nearly three-and-a-half hours. The railway officers confirm that not more than five to seven passengers board or alight at these stations. Approximately, 500 passengers have to sit though half an hour more for the sake of five to seven passengers. The purpose of having a fast express train is defeated if it is converted to a passenger train.

Recently, I travelled in China for 10 hours between Beijing and Xian on the Overnight Express Non Stop. This shows the Chinese authorities’ commitment to productivity and efficient time utilisation. Our bureaucrats and politicians would do well to emulate practices which improve efficiency.

I.P. SINGH, New Delhi



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