Part-time PhD, PhD for graduates, Entrance test for PhD: Know the new UGC Rules on PhD Admission in India

New Rules on PhD Admission in India

The University Grants Commission, UGC has implemented new regulations on PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degrees from 7 November 2022. Known as “UGC Minimum Standards and Procedures for Award of PhD Degree Regulations 2022,” these rules have replaced the erstwhile rules notified in 2016. The new regulation modifies the eligibility requirements, admissions process, and evaluation methodologies governing doctoral programmes in colleges and universities of the country.

With this move, India has simplified and streamlined the rules governing research programs and brought them in line with the prevalent global practices. Just so you know, these guidelines were released for feedback from stakeholders in March 2022 itself. By incorporating several feedbacks into the draft, it has finally been notified and implemented across the country since 7 November 2022.

Students and scholars pursuing, or planning to pursue, a PhD through old criteria have nothing to worry about as the new rules will have no effect on the status quo. To elaborate further, candidates pursuing or having completed MPhil will continue to remain eligible for admission to PhD programmes.

Now Graduates can do PhDs

Students who have completed a 4-year undergraduate course, or completed the first year of PG after a 3-year graduation, are now eligible for direct admission to a doctorate programme. Be mindful that a minimum of 75 per cent marks in aggregate OR a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 7.5 is a must to apply for PhD programs.

What about 3-year bachelor’s Degree students now studying in PG? How to calculate their marks?

In case you don’t have 75 per cent aggregate marks in graduation (be it a 3 or 4 years course), pursue a one-year master’s programme and score at least 55 per cent in that and you become eligible.

MPhil Program gets dropped!

The new Rules discontinue the Phil programme altogether. However, that will have no bearing on those holding or pursuing M.Phil degrees currently. So M.Phil students can now take a deep sigh of relief.

No Need for UGC NET/JRF

Universities and colleges will be free to admit students through the NET (National Eligibility Test)/JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) qualification route as well as entrance exams; whatever they wish!

The individual institution can holds entrance tests to admit students to PhD programs. The “entrance test shall consist of 50 per cent research methodology and 50 per cent subject-specific”. Those clearing the entrance test will get admission into the course irrespective of whether they have passed the UGC NET/JRF or not.

So can we say goodbye to UGC NET?

Rules regarding entrance test for PhD admission:

The entrance Exam must consist of a Written Test (70% weightage) and a Personal Interview (30% weightage).

As per the new guidelines, PhD students may be given 4 to 6 hours per week of teaching/research assistantship for conducting tutorial or laboratory work and evaluations.

Freedom from publishing research articles

In a relief to many scholars, the mandatory requirement to publish research articles in peer-reviewed publications or present them at conferences has been done away with. The reason behind this move is mushrooming of ‘paid-for’ journals publishing anything and everything (read garbage) just to help students fulfil the legal requirements for getting the coveted degree.

Concept of Part-time PhD Degree

After a part-time MBA, here comes a part-time PhD program for working professionals. Candidates, however, have to submit a “No Objection Certificate (NOC)” issued by the employers to the college. It’s important to know for the college that the employer has no problem in letting the employee study for a part-time degree.

Good News for EWS Students

The revised regulations provide for a 5% relaxation in the entrance test for EWS students.

Benefits of the new rule

Scrapping the requirement of research publication will help more people complete the PhDs they start.

  • It is hoped that the new progressive regulations will improve the quality of research in India. By opening up the field to almost all aspirants, the move will also increase the pool of scholars and address the shortage of faculty members in higher education in India in the coming few years.
  • Faculty members with less than three years of service before superannuation shall not be allowed to supervise new research scholars. Most of the time they retire before their disciple can complete their PhDs and thus leaving them in the lurch and in search of a new guide derailing their efforts.
  • Now each supervisor can guide up to two international research scholars on a supernumerary basis over and above the permitted number of PhD scholars.
  • The higher education institutes have been given the freedom to decide their own selection procedure for PhD admission of international students. However, they do have to toe the guidelines/norms set by statutory/regulatory bodies regarding admission.

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(With Inputs from careerindia)