New Regulations for Awarding PhDs


    In News

    • Recently, the University Grants Commission (UGC) notified University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedures for Award of PhD Degree) Regulations, 2022. 

    Key Changes 

    • Abolishing MPhils: 
      • Completely abolished MPhil, which has been a gateway for PhD programmes, in line with the recommendation in the National Education Policy 2020. 
    • Changes in the evaluation and assessment criteria for the award of the degree
      • It has waived the need to mandatorily publish a research paper in a peer-reviewed journal. 
    • Relaxing course work for obtaining PhDs: 
      • The new regulations says that all PhD scholars “shall be required to train in teaching/ education/ pedagogy/ writing related to their chosen PhD subject.” 
      • They can also now be assigned 4-6 hours per week of teaching/research assistantship for conducting tutorial, or laboratory work and evaluations.
    • Research work after completing course work:
      • PhD scholars will be required to undertake research work after completing their course work, make a presentation and produce a draft dissertation or thesis.
    • Revision in eligibility criteria for admissions:
      • A candidate can register after completing a one-year (or two semester) master’s degree programme after a four-year (or 8-semester) bachelor’s degree programme 

    Major Concerns

    • Impact on socially disadvantaged groups: Experts say that discontinuing MPhils, along with the introduction of four-year BA course and 2-year MA course with multiple exits will hurt socially disadvantaged groups who may not be able to pay for longer-duration courses.
    • Concerns over diminishing scholarships and fellowships to support PhD scholars as well as severe shortage of teachers, impacting the number of research supervisors available.
    • Until the 2009 regulations were notified, the award of PhDs, their evaluation, and course-work was not regulated. However, the changes being brought in the latest regulations take us back to the pre-2009 era.

    Source: TH