The Government of India as per its New Educational Policy, 1986 envisaged that in order to maintain uniform standards of teaching in the country the candidates besides possessing minimum academic qualifications are required to qualify in a comprehensive test specifically conducted for the purpose of obtaining eligibility for appointment as Lecturers/Assistant Professors. Accordingly UGC, New Delhi has been conducting the UGC-NET Examination regularly. It was felt that an eligibility test at the national level may not be completely able to represent the subjects which are regional in their character. Moreover, there was a demand from the aspiring candidates to appear for the test in their own mother tongue, wherever applicable. Therefore, the State Governments and Union Territories were given an option of conducting their own test for eligibility for Lectureship at the state level. Thus was born the concept of State Eligibility Test, which will be conducted both in English and the vernacular. The State Eligibility Test (SET) is based on the pattern of the National Eligibility Test (CSIR/UGC-NET) conducted by UGC/CSIR. The State Governments and Union Territories, who wish to conduct the SET are supposed to obtain accreditation from UGC from time to time.
As the State Governments were given an option to conduct their own State Level Eligibility Test (SLET), the Andhra Pradesh College Service Commission was identified as the Nodal Agency to conduct SLET for eligibility for Lectureship in colleges in Andhra Pradesh. Accordingly, APCSC conducted SLET thrice from February, of 1997 to February, 1998. Later, the Government of Andhra Pradesh abolished the APCSC and subsequently UGC has withdrawn accreditation in 2005..
In the year 2011 the Andhra Pradesh Government has seriously contemplated to conduct SET Examination in the interest of large number of aspirants for recruitment as Assistant Professors/Lecturers through direct recruitment or by promotions in universities and degree colleges in the State and also to facilitate the candidates to appear for the test in Telugu medium, wherever applicable. After careful consideration of the matter, the UGC, New Delhi has identified the Osmania University as the State Agency for Andhra Pradesh to conduct the State Eligibility Test (SET) in Andhra Pradesh for 24 subjects for the year 2012..