The Central government has amended the UGC regulations making PhD the minimum eligibility requirement for hiring at the post of assistant professors. The UGC’s 2018’s regulations making PhD minimum eligibility for hiring assistant professors was to come to effect from 2021, however, the same was deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the norm has been further extended till July 2023 and hiring will continue on the basis of the UGC NET score.
The move is expected to fill vacant faculty posts across higher education institutes faster than usual. “UGC in view of COVID-19 pandemic has decided to extend the date of applicability of PhD as a mandatory qualification for direct recruitment of assistant professors from July 1, 2021, to July 1, 2023,” UGC said in an official notice.
According to existing norms, candidates who qualify for teacher eligibility exams including NET, SET, SLET are eligible to apply for the post of assistant professor. Candidates who have been awarded a PhD degree in accordance with UGC regulations will be exempted from the requirement of the minimum eligibility condition of NET/SLET/SET.
“PhD degree shall be a mandatory qualification for direct recruitment to the post of assistant professor in the department of the universities with effect from 01.07.2023. This amendment shall be known as UGC (Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education), Amendment Regulation, 2021,” the official statement read.
Earlier, UGC received many representations seeking a delay in implementing the policy claiming that it will negatively impact the NET qualified candidates.
The ‘University Grants Commission (Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and other Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education) Regulations, 2018’ — a policy which makes PhD minimum requirement for hiring assistant professors was approved in 2018, however, a three-year window was given to candidates to complete their PhD and to ensure they are not disadvantaged by the immediate implementation.
Meanwhile, the entry gateway for the job, UGC NET has been deferred till further notice. The exam has been postponed several times. The National Testing Agency (NTA) will hold a combined exam for both December 2020 and June 2021 cycles