In order to maintain a uniform standard of teaching and research in the country, the govt. of India through its notification dated 22nd July, 1988 regarding revised pay scales states that "only those candidates who besides fulfilling the minimum academic qualifications prescribed for the posts of lecturer, have qualified in a comprehensive Test, to be specifically conducted for the purpose, will be eligible for appointment as Lecturers". UGC discussed the question of qualifying for appointment as Lecturer with a group of academics, State Education Secretaries etc. in pursuance of the above decision. Accordingly, the UGC conducted the test for Junior Research Fellowship and eligibility of Lecturership on 24th Dec, 1989 and 29th April, 1990 in the subject falling under Humanities and Social Studies including languages. The CSIR conducted the joint UGC-CSIR Test for JRF and eligibility for lecturership on 31st Dec, 1989 for Science disciplines. Since then UGC and CSIR have been conducting the Test twice a year i.e. in June and December. Simultaneously, the UGC asked the State Govts and Union Territories about their option to conduct their own Test or alternately, adopt UGC and UGC-CSIR tests. In the event they opt to conduct a test equivalent to UGC and UGC-CSIR tests, these tests shall require accreditation by the UGC. In response to this proposal, some of the States opted to conduct their own test i.e. State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) for lecturership only.
In the original scheme of the UGC, each State is to conduct its own examination, but the Vice-Chancellors of the Universities of the NE States found it difficult to conduct the examination individually and therefore opted for a common forum, as they were geographically and emotionally closer to each other. The NESLET Commission moved the UGC and the Ministry of the Dept. for Development of NE States for early approval of the decision of the Vice-Chancellors to conduct the examination through this common Agency.
The Govt of Assam constituted the SLET Commission, Assam as per rules of UGC vide its order No. B (2) H.15/2000/107 dated 19-12-2001 with provision to join by other States of NE Region, as the UGC Rules require that the Agency to conduct the SLET is to be constituted by the Govt. The State of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Sikkim and Tripura are now members of the Commission.