Researcher and professor Arindam Ghosh recently stated through a tweet, how crucial PhD is for teachers. Ghosh, who is currently associated with the department of physics in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, said that all teachers in a “serious university” must have a PhD degree.
Ghosh’s statement comes after the University Grants Commission (UGC) recently announced that a PhD degree will not be mandatory to teach in central universities. The move will allow more industry experts, who do not have a PhD, to apply for and acquire positions of assistant professors across various varsities.
According to Ghosh, a PhD degree allows a person to “ask questions without obvious answers.” This, he said, creates new knowledge. “Students must be taught by such people because they need to know how to go beyond the textbook,” he added in the tweet.
Teachers in a serious University must have a PhD degree. Because doing PhD teaches us how to ask questions without obvious answers, and hence create new knowledge. Students must be taught by such people because they need to know how to go beyond the text book.
— Arindam Ghosh (@ArindamPhysics) May 19, 2022
The tweet gained substantial traction among some who chimed in with the opinion, while many contested or scrutinised the statement. One user said, “Could not agree more,” and that the PhD degrees must also be from a “serious university.”
While another wrote, “Completely disagree. Teaching is a very specific skill that takes a minimum (in my opinion) of 4 years to learn. A PhD provides you with 0 per cent of those skills.” One user said that a PhD degree is not necessary for teaching and that many professors, who are excellent teachers, are without a PhD degree.
Earlier, in 2018, it was announced that a PhD degree will be a mandatory requirement for direct recruitment to the post of assistant professors in universities, with effect from July 1, 2021. UGC had then deferred it and postponed it to July 1, 2023, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, the recruitment was being done on the basis of UGC NET score.