ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ineligible for History

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has mandated that an exam, i e, the National Eligibility Test (NET), be passed as a requirement for the teaching of history at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, except in the case where the candidate has a PhD. Those who score higher in the NET are given the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), which greatly strengthens their candidacy for the PhD programme.

We the undersigned, as teachers and researchers of history, believe that the NET exam, as it exists, does not measure competence in history as a discipline in any imaginable sense. The NET’s own understanding of history is fundamentally different from the practice of the discipline across the world. This understanding, as reflected in the question papers, holds history to lie solely in the memorisation of facts. Therefore, in the NET’s version of history, the mechanical retention and retrieval of information appears to be the only competence required for the teaching of the subject.

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