PhD Degree: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has reversed its decision to make PhD Degree mandatory for assistant professors in higher education institutions; National Eligibility Test (NET), State Eligibility Test (SET) and State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) will continue to be the basis of recruitment to entry level posts.
The UGC laid down criteria for recruitment to entry-level positions in universities and colleges in 2018. At that time, it asked all universities to start implementing PhD criteria for recruitment from July 2021. The move was criticized by faculty of various universities, who said that many candidates could not complete their PhD amid the Covid-19 pandemic and appealed to the Central government should relax the eligibility.
In October 2021, the commission announced that it was postponing the implementation of the criteria for another two years, i.e., July 2023. But now it has been completely abolished.
According to a notification dated June 30 and released in the public domain on Wednesday, the commission has amended the UGC (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) Regulations2018, and removed the PhD requirement clause.
It has been replaced with another clause, which states that “NET/SET/SLET shall be the minimum criteria for direct recruitment to the post of Assistant Professor for all higher education institutions.”
UGC chairman M Jagadesh Kumar said that the move will provide relief to aspiring candidates who want to join academics. “If they clear NET/SET/SLET, they will be eligible to apply for the post of Assistant Professor in all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
However, depending on the number of applications received in higher education institutions in a given discipline, the shortlisting criteria may be fixed above the minimum standards set by the UGC to invite a manageable number of candidates for interview.
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