UGC Relaxes Criteria for Recruitment of Assistant Professors, PhD not Compulsory

New Delhi, July 06, 2023 – New UGC Guidelines – The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced that the National Eligibility Test (NET), State Eligibility Test (SET), and State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) will be the minimum criteria for direct recruitment to the post of Assistant Professor in all higher education institutions.

As per the new UGC guidelines, these eligibility tests are now compulsory. However, it is important to note that possessing a PhD qualification for the position still remains optional.Β 

This means that candidates who hold a PhD degree will have an additional qualification that can enhance their eligibility, but it is not a mandatory requirement.

New UGC Guidelines – Important Details

  • The commission has recently announced that the applicability date for requiring a PhD as a mandatory qualification for the recruitment of assistant professors has been extended to July 1, 2023.Β 
  • As per the new UGC guidelines, clearing the NET, SET, and SLET examinations will make candidates eligible to apply for the Assistant Professor post in all higher education institutions.
  • The shortlisting criteria for applications in the institutions may vary based on the number of applications received in a specific discipline. The shortlisting criteria can be set above the minimum standards prescribed by the UGC.
  • Promotion to the Associate Professor level will still require candidates to possess a PhD qualification.
  • Even if an individual joins as an Assistant Professor without a PhD, they will need to engage in high-quality research and obtain the degree while teaching to be eligible for promotion to the next level.

New UGC Guidelines – Reasons for Amendment

  • Β In 2018, UGC implemented a three-year window for candidates to complete their PhDs.
  • This decision established the criteria for recruitment at entry-level posts, requiring candidates to fulfil the PhD requirement within the specified timeframe.
  • Universities and colleges were instructed to implement this criterion starting from the 2021-22 academic session.
  • In 2021, the UGC extended the applicability date for the PhD requirement from July 2021 to July 2023 for Assistant Professor positions in universities.
  • The decision to extend the deadline was prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely disrupted the research work of PhD students due to prolonged closures of educational institutions.
  • UGC acknowledged the challenges faced by candidates in completing their PhDs during the pandemic and decided to provide them with adequate time to finish their research and meet the eligibility criteria for Assistant Professor positions.
  • The decision to waive the mandatory PhD qualification for Assistant Professor posts aims to address disadvantages faced by candidates from marginalized sections.
  • Imposing a mandatory PhD requirement also posed challenges for universities in filling vacant positions.
  • The UGC’s approach encourages improved research outcomes in higher education institutions by motivating faculty members to pursue doctoral studies and enhance their research capabilities.

New UGC Guidelines – NET Result 2023

  • The UGC NET exams have been conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) in Computer Based Test (CBT) mode since December 2018.Β 
  • The exams are held twice a year, in December and June.Β 
  • The final results of the UGC-NET exams, which determine the eligibility of aspirants for the positions of Assistant Professor and junior research fellowship in Indian universities and colleges, are expected to be released in the second week of August.Β 
Note – To read the official notification, please click here.

New UGC Guidelines – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.1 Is a PhD mandatory for the post of Assistant Professor?

No, as per the new UGC guidelines, it is not necessary to obtain a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree for the post of Assistant Professor.

Q2. How many papers are required to be published by a PhD scholar?

A PhD scholar must publish four to five development papers.

Q3. What is the duration of doing a PhD course?

The average duration of a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) course shall be a minimum of three years and a maximum of six years from the date of commencement.

Q4. How to pursue a PhD degree with or without NET?

To pursue a PhD degree, it is not mandatory to qualify for the UGC NET examination. Candidates have the option to pursue the degree without qualifying for the UGC NET by directly applying for a University entrance test for PhD admission.Β 

If candidates choose to qualify for UGC NET JRF (Junior Research Fellowship), they can avail a scholarship during their PhD program. The scholarship is typically provided for a duration of up to 5 years. Additionally, qualifying for the UGC NET JRF opens up opportunities for candidates to be considered for assistant professor positions in universities and colleges.

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Q5. What are the job opportunities for PhD qualified candidates?

The PhD-qualified candidates have a range of job opportunities available to them beyond teaching. While many opt for Assistant Professor positions in colleges or universities, there are several other options to explore.

One such avenue is the research field. PhD-qualified candidates can work as research assistants on projects that align with their area of expertise. This allows them to contribute to ongoing research and gain practical experience. With time and experience, they can progress to the role of senior research assistant within a college or university.

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