In a move that has won the hearts of more than 1,400 teachers appointed under the University of Pune (UoP) and its affiliated colleges, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has exempted teachers appointed before July 2009 from NET/SET.
The issue of exempting teachers appointed before July 11, 2009, from the eligibility tests has taken centrestage several times at the varsity and resulted in strikes, demonstrations and mass protests by teachers.
The National Eligibility Test and the State Eligibility Test are the qualifying exams for appointment as lecturer or assistant professor in state universities and affiliated colleges.
On July 11, 2009, the UGC had issued a notification stating only those teachers appointed after clearing NET/SET are eligible for time-bound promotions, higher pay scales and career advancement schemes under the UGC.
While the letter was issued in July 2009, it did not gave NET/SET exemption to teachers appointed before that period, and all teachers appointed after that were asked to appear for NET/SET and their promotions were stopped.
The Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation (MFUCTO) demanded that the notification should not be implemented retrospectively.
On Saturday, a letter was sent to all universities stating the NET/SET qualifications criterion does not apply to 1,400 teachers under the UoP.