By Azad Ahmad Wani
The National Eligibility Test (NET), also known as UGC NET or NTA-UGC-NET, is a test to determine the eligibility for college and university level Assistant Professors and for the award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). It aims to ensure a minimum standard for the entrants in teaching professions and research. On behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC), the National Testing Agency (NTA) will conduct the test for determining the eligibility of Assistant Professor and Junior Research Fellowship .Until July 2018, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducted this exam but from December 2018 onwards, NTA will be conducting the UGC National Eligibility Test. Previously, it was conducted by UGC and CBSE in an offline mode, but this time NTA will conduct this exam in an online mode.
Unfortunately, this time the NET aspirants of Kashmir will have their centers outside the valley due to the “security” reasons. Though there is no denying the fact that the moment they filled the form they opted for their respective districts and even some of them chose Srinagar without knowing that their centers would be shifted to other places like Rajasthan, Punjab Delhi and so on.
The plight of the NET aspirants of Kashmir can be gauged by the fact that they are supposed to travel outside the valley where the situation has already worsened especially when it comes to the Kashmiri students as few days before six Kashmiri students were suspected by the Punjab police and thus taken into custody.
The NET aspirants are not only worried about their security outside the valley; they are also worried regarding the expanses they will have to incur for appearing in this exam outside Jammu and Kashmir. Most of the students are complaining that they can’t afford to go outside and write their exams.
In fact, this poses several questions to the educational set up in Kashmir: whether the educational set up in Kashmir is impotent? Whether the lack of internet facility has made our education useless? Whether the government of Kashmir has done anything for Kashmir from the educational point of view? Whether it is a poor student of Kashmir who has to suffer thereby affecting our education severely? Whether we have come to a stage where it is hard to revive our defunct educational system? Whether in an age of science and technology , possess an iota of it or not? Of course, the answer is that the education system in Kashmir is almost dysfunctional due to many reasons : the long pending Kashmir issue, everyday killings, insecurity of young people in Kashmiri, hartals (shutdowns), and lack of expenses spent on education by the government and last , but not the least, the aggressive measures by the government.
Jammu and Kashmir is the only state, where there is no head right now who can take a firm decision in favor of students, who are suffering right now as they are supposed to go outside the valley. There is no doubt that the young generation is the future of any society but here we are destroying our future by our own hands like delays in admission procedures , semester examinations and much more which has become a common phenomenon in Kashmir. Government is the highest body of authority. It can make it possible for the NET aspirants who are appealing to them right that their centers be in Kashmir again; otherwise they won’t be able even to appear in the exam. They don’t want their centers to be transferred to the other parts of India.
The question is that UGC was already well aware about the fact that the situation in Kashmir is not well and the students have already suffered a huge a loss then why did they gave them the options for their centers in Kashmir than outside the it. They should have already thought about it as students may not be able to bear the expenses for the exam plus the security reasons.
The solution to the problem lies in the hands of the Government which can still make it possible for the NET aspirants of Kashmir to transform their centers to their respective districts so that they may not suffer one way or the other as they have already suffered. If the NET centers are not changed then the students will not able to write their exam. In this case, it may deprive some of them of an opportunity to serve their state in future also plus the hard work they have done for this exam may not pay off.
The author is doing his Ph.D from Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies Barla Raisen, M.P, in the Department of English. He can be reached at:Wani.firstname.lastname@example.org