BENGALURU: Diabetics taking up the National Eligibility Test (NET) have a reason to cheer: They can have fruits, water and sugar tablets in the exam hall.
NET conducted by the University Grants Commission is mandatory for aspiring assistant professors and junior research scholars. The test is slated go online this time and will be held in December. For the first time, the National Testing Agency is conducting NET on behalf of UGC this year.
Candidates applying for the exam were surprised to see one of the entries that read, “Are you diabetic?” Taken aback, some of the students even wondered if they should get themselves tested for diabetes before filling up the application.
The UGC notification on NET 2018, however, clearly states that diabetic students will be allowed to carry sugar tablets, fruits like banana, apple and orange, and transparent water bottles to the exam hall.
“However, they will not be allowed to carry packed food like chocolate, sandwich and candy,” read the notification.
Prior to this, since 2016, the Central Board of Secondary Education has been allowing diabetic JEE applicants to carry fruits, water and sugar tablets to the exam hall to make sure candidates on insulin needn’t
worry about a sudden drop in their sugar levels while writing the exam.
Given that there are chances of diabetic candidates suffering from a sudden drop in sugar levels, thus hampering their concentration and performance in exams, this notification by UGC will help such candidates overcome their limitations.
Welcoming the move, Dr Satish Kumar, endocrinologist, founder of Ameya Healthcare, who has long been advocating to make educational institutions diabetic-friendly, said UGC had taken a very important step.
“Many patients battling diabetes do not want to disclose their illness. Sometimes they suffer from low sugar levels when they are away from home, and this can turn out to be problematic. This step by UGC is very positive. It might even encourage many diabetic candidates to appear for tough competitive exams. It should ideally be replicated by all examination boards,” he added.
Applications for NET 2018 can be filed only online; September 30 is the last date. The test is scheduled to be conducted between December 9 and 23, officials said.
The examination will be conducted in two shifts, from 9.30am to 1pm and from 2pm to 5.30pm. The exact date and shifts will be available by October 21 on the NTA website.