The University Grants Commission (UGC) is still considering when to put to effect the policy which makes PhD mandatory for recruiting assistant professors. 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’ were to come to effect from July 1, however, speaking to News 18.com Secretary University Grants Commission (UGC) said, “The matter is under consideration.”
The policy 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.
This has come after the UGC has received many representations seeking a delay in implementing the policy. The government has also received many representations made by MPs and teachers asking for curbing any loss of jobs for NET-qualified candidates.
The implementation timeline might get a further push because of the pandemic. The research activities suffered due to the Covid-19 that led to the nationwide lockdown in March 2020. The universities have been shut and regular academic activity came to a standstill. Seeing the unexpected and uncertain scenario ahead, UGC issued several communications allowing the delay in submission of a doctoral thesis.
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. As per the new policy, a PhD degree will be a mandatory qualification for direct recruitment to 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.
But would UGC extend the date to make PhD mandatory for the post of assistant professor in the universities? According to officials, the matter is still under consideration.