UGC Frames New Rules For PhD To Encourage Research

New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced new regulations on PhD degrees making sweeping changes in eligibility requirements, admission process and evaluation methodologies governing doctoral programmes.

The UGC regulations which set the minimum standards and procedure for the award of PhD have been revised according to the recommendations of National Education Policy 2020.

These regulations, replacing the rules of 2016,  have been notified as “University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedures for the Award of PhD) Regulations, 2022”.

“These new regulations are framed to encourage research scholars to become well-trained researchers and inquisitive explorers,” UGC Secretary P K Thakur said in a letter to the Vice-Chancellors of all universities and Principals of colleges.

All higher education institutions are requested to initiate necessary steps to implement the new regulations for the award of PhD.

As per the new rules, UGC has made many significant modifications to the eligibility requirements, admissions process and evaluation methodologies governing doctoral programmes in colleges and universities.

Students who have completed a four-year undergraduate course will be eligible for direct admission to a doctorate programme. Candidate should have a minimum of 75 per cent marks in aggregate or its equivalent grade on a point scale wherever the grading system is followed.

If the candidate does not have 75 per cent marks in a four-year UG course, he/she has to pursue a one-year master’s programme and score at least 55 per cent.

The new rules discontinue the M.Phil programme, but it will have no impact on those holding or pursuing M.Phil degrees at present.

As per the new rules, 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 tests at the level of the institutions.

If an individual institution can hold its own entrance test to admit students, the candidates need not write the NET or similar examinations. Where the selection is done by entrance tests conducted by individual universities, a weightage of 70 per cent will be given to performance in the written test, and 30 per cent to the interview, sources said.

Entrance requirements for the new EWS (Economically Weaker Section) category have been relaxed by 5 per cent.

UGC has introduced a new requirement for PhD scholars, irrespective of discipline, to train in teaching / education/ pedagogy/ writing related to their chosen subject during their doctoral period. They may also be assigned 4 to 6 hours per week of teaching/ research assistantship for conducting tutorial or laboratory work and evaluations.

It is no longer required to publish research articles in peer-reviewed publications or present in conferences.

Working professionals can now enrol in part-time PhD programmes. The institute will require a “No Objection Certificate (NOC)” from the appropriate authority in the organisation where the aspirant is employed.

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