SET: An Alternative to NET for Aspiring Teachers

Aspiring teachers who could not clear UGC NET 2018, now have an alternative to the examination. A state level examination named State Eligibility Test (SET) will be conducted by all states separately, to test the eligibility of candidates who wish to apply for the post of assistant professor in colleges and universities in their states.

Prof Ved Prakash, the Chairman of University Grants Commision (UGC) declared that all state governments should conduct SET in their respective states. The same will act as an additional platform to candidates who do not qualify in UGC NET 2018.

This step is taken by UGC to promote education in the country. Former Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal is keen on opening UGC constituent colleges in Punjab. However, other state governments have not shown any interest in this scheme yet.

Mr. Ved Prakash has informed that two-thirds of the colleges that are to be established under this scheme will be funded by UGC. There has been a growing demand for autonomous status by many colleges but UGC claims that it will be granting the status to only those colleges which fulfill the specified set of conditions. Maximum number of such colleges have sprouted in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

With increase in the number of colleges and expansion in education facilities, it is important to employ skilled teachers who will in-turn work to improve the quality of education. The same will enable the students to have a shot at better employment opportunities after they graduate from their respective colleges.

Maharashtra state government recently declared that MH SET will be conducted by University of Pune in the month of January. Punjab state government conducts Punjab SLET (State Level Eligibility Test) in the month of August. Similarly, many other states have started with SETs, making it easier for aspirants to get selected for the post of lecturers in colleges and universities within the states.

This type of model is already followed in Teacher Eligibility cum Entrance Test (TETs) and starting with SETs will not only be a good idea, but will also reduce the pressure faced by the candidates when they appear for national level examinations. It opens up more opportunities for them even if they are unable to clear other exams like CTET 2018 or UGC NET 2018.

The educational qualification for SET is very similar to that of NET. Those who wish to appear for these tests must have acquired their Master’s degree or equivalent postgraduate diploma from an institution recognized by UGC. The minimum qualifying percentage for their post-graduation is 55% for General category candidates and 50% for SC/ST//PH/VH candidates. Those candidates who have appeared or will appear for the qualifying examination during their final years or those candidates who are waiting for their results can also apply for the exam.

However, candidates will be granted provisional admission for SET and will need to complete their postgraduate degree or diploma examination within two years from the date of the declaration of results for SET. Failing to do so will result in being disqualified. The examination will have objective type questions and the syllabus will be similar to that of nationalized eligibility tests. Candidates can apply for SET through the official website of the examination.