With the revised norms proposed by the University Grants Commission (UGC), four-year undergraduate degree holders with a minimum CGPA of 7.5 will soon be able to take admission to PhD programmes. The new draft of UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of PhD Degree) Regulations, 2022, was approved during the 556th commission meeting held on March 10 and has been released on the official website — ugc.ac.in.
As per the proposal, candidates having a four-year bachelor’s degree in research with a minimum 7.5 CGPA will be eligible for admission to PhD programmes, along with postgraduate students. While there will be no change in the procedure of admission, the eligibility criteria have been tweaked after the discontinuation of MPhil courses in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, and the introduction of four-year undergraduate programmes.
“To implement the recommendations connected to minimum standards for the award of PhD degree, UGC has developed a draft university Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedures for Award of Ph.D. Degree) Regulations, 2022. The draft university Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedures for Award of PhD Degree) Regulations, 2022 arc available on the UGC website,” reads the official notice. The commission has also invited suggestions and feedbacks from all stakeholders on the draft regulations by March 31.
Under NEP 2020, universities and colleges will offer four-year undergraduate degrees with multiple exits and entry options to students. On completion of the programme, candidates will be given an honours with a research undergraduate degree. The UGC also proposed to revise the minimum duration of PhD down to two years from three, however, the maximum duration has been left unchanged at 6 years.
Confirming the development, UGC chairperson Jagdesh Kumar said the proposed changes will help in enhancing the research ecosystem in the country. He added that with the new four-year undergraduate programme, students will now have the option to pursue either multidisciplinary research or focus on a single discipline in their final year. And those who do well in the undergraduate programme can directly get admissions into PhD.
However, candidates who clear the MPhil with at least 55 per cent marks will continue to remain eligible for PhD admission. UGC has also proposed to reserve 60 per cent of the available seats of all higher education for National Eligibility Test (NET)/ Junior Research Fellowship (NET-JRF) qualified candidates.
The remaining 40 per cent of seats will be filled on the basis of university/common entrance tests and interviews. Currently, there are no such fixed criteria for universities and colleges. NET/JRF candidates don’t have to appear for the entrance test and are admitted on the basis of the viva (spoken examinations) or interviews. Others have to undergo the entrance and subsequent rounds of the selection process.