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Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is contemplating a return to conducting its own entrance exams for PhD admissions, following the cancellation of the University Grants Commission’s National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) due to integrity concerns.

“We have begun the process and we are taking into account the opinion of all the stakeholders while considering this decision. It is a decision of all the faculty,” JNU’s Vice Chancellor Santishree D Pandit said.

The university administration has requested feedback from faculty members, including deans and chairpersons of various schools and centers, by August 5. They are asked to provide input on the examination process, including timeframe, exam format, and financial implications.

This move comes after JNU had previously announced it would accept NET scores for PhD admissions in line with the National Education Policy 2020. However, the cancellation of the June 2024 UGC-NET exam by the central government, based on inputs from the Ministry of Home Affairs, has prompted this reconsideration.

On June 19, the Centre cancelled the exam crucial for entry-level teaching jobs and PhD admissions in universities, following inputs from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that “the integrity of the examination may have been compromised”.

The JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) has welcomed this development, viewing it as a positive response to their long-standing position on entrance examinations. Over the past year, both teachers and students have raised concerns about the National Testing Agency-led examination process.

In the statement, JNUTA said: “It welcomes the decisions taken in the meeting of the Vice Chancellor and Deans of Schools on 3 July 2024, as well as to refer the matter to the faculty of Schools/Centres for their opinions.”

If implemented, this change would require JNU to bear the financial burden of conducting its own entrance exams, as the university would not receive funding from the UGC or Ministry of Education for this purpose.

The administration has asked for a consolidated report by August 5 from all the deans, the chairperson of special centre, chairperson of of centre of the school of Studies after discussing the issue with all the faculty members in their respective Schools/Centres

The administration have asked them to “submit the overall process of holding examination including the time frame, the pattern of examinations ie. subjective/objective or CBT, or through JRF/NET Score, financial aspect in terms of Ph. D. application fees, Intake of seats and estimated financial liabilities for holding All India Entrance Examination, etc”

(Inputs from ANI)

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