UGC Amends Ph.D. Admission Norms, 5% Relaxation To EWS, Read Details

New Delhi, 17 March 2021: The University Grants Commission (UGC), under its Minimum Standards and Procedures for Award of Ph.D. Degree Regulations, 2016 draft, has proposed to reserve 60% of available seats for the National Eligibility Test (NET)/Junior Research Fellowship (NET-JRF)-qualified candidates in all higher education institutions. UGC has also extended a 5% relaxation in eligibility criteria to the economically weaker sections (EWS) for Ph.D. admissions.Β 

Note: The draft of the UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of Ph.D. Degree) Regulations, 2022, was approved during the 556th commission meeting held on 10 March 2022. The changes are in line with the National Education Policy, 2020 (NEP 2020).

Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of Ph.D. Degree Regulations: Details

  • The draft guidelines revised the eligibility criteria after the discontinuation of M.Phil. degree under NEP 2020, and introduction of four-year undergraduate programmes (FYUP).
  • Under the NEP 2020, universities and colleges will now offer 4-year undergraduate degrees with multiple exit and entry options.Β 
  • Several universities, including the Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University, have already decided to adopt these programmes from 2022 onwards.Β 
  • After completing a four-year degree programme, students will receive honors with a research undergraduate degree.
  • Under the amended regulations, the minimum duration for the completion of Ph.D. has been revised from 3 years to 2 years while the maximum duration remained unchanged at 6 years.Β 
  • The UGC also intends to provide leaves for research scholars to undertake research expeditions, research missions, and exchange programmes.
  • The proposed regulations also extended a 5% relaxation in eligibility criteria to the economically weaker sections (EWS).
  • The research supervisors and co-supervisors will also be allowed to guide two international students on a contract basis.

Note: Now, candidates having a four-year bachelor’s degree with a background in research work and a minimum of 7.5 CGPA will be eligible for admission to Ph.D. programmes, along with first and second-year post graduate students (after completing a four-year programme).

Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of Ph.D. Degree Regulations: Benefits

The four-year undergraduate programme is beneficial to students in the following ways:

  • Those who are interested in research can do either multidisciplinary research or focus on a single discipline in their final year.Β 
  • Those who do well in the 4-year undergraduate program will be eligible to join in a Ph.D. programme.Β 
  • The new norm will enhance the research ecosystem in India.
  • Also, 60% of the total vacant seats of the academic year shall be filled by NET/JRF-qualified students. The remaining 40% will be filled through the university or common entrance test-qualified students on the basis of interviews conducted by the concerned institute.Β 
  • Besides, candidates who have cleared M.Phil. with at least 55% marks in aggregate will continue to remain eligible. The M.Phil. degree shall be de-specified from the academic year 2022-23 onwards. M.Phil. degree awarded till the date of notification of these regulations shall remain valid.

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