Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal on Thursday inaugurated the 'e-certificate' for the University Grants Commission – National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) qualified candidates. The minister also released a compendium of UGC schemes. The UGC has initiated steps for online registration of the NET examination so that all the necessary information with regard to the candidates is captured, including their photographs, at the time of registration itself. The information thus captured is proposed to be used for the award of these e-certificates once the results are announced. These e-certificates will cut down the time lag for issuing the certificate from 6-8 months to 6 days. Similarly, whenever an institution writes to UGC for verification of authenticity of the NET Certificate presented by the candidates, the authenticity of the certificate will now be done within a span of 24 hours as against the earlier 4 months. The process of issuing the UGC-NET qualification certificate to successful candidates normally takes around 6-8 months, a cause of concern both to UGC and to the students. Also, institutions wrote to UGC for verifying the authenticity of the NET Certificates being presented by the candidates at the time of admission to Ph.D. or at the time of appointment in a College/University for the teaching assignment. This verification currently takes around 4 months another matter of great concern for all stakeholders. In the compendium, 63 schemes of the UGC have been synoptically profiled, covering the objectives of each scheme, the criteria for becoming eligible to receive financial assistance from the UGC, the operational tenure of the scheme and the process of selection followed in approving the proposals, and finally the quantum of financial assistance that can be provided to execute the scheme. The University Grants Commission conducts the national level test, viz-a-viz the National Eligibility Test (NET) twice in a year; in June and December to determine the eligibility for the recruitment of teachers as Assistant Professors in Institutions of Higher Learning and for the award of Junior Research Fellowships (JRFs). The Test is conducted in 77 subjects at 74 Centres spread across the country. While the examination for the award of JRF is being conducted since 1984, the examination for determining the eligibility for Assistant Professorship is being conducted since 1989. The number of Fellowships under the NET scheme has been increased from 2,000 to 6,400 per annum since 2010. In June, 2010, 10,433 candidates successfully qualified the NET for Assistant Professorship, including JRF.
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