University of Grants Commission revises regulations for taking up PhD programme

A file photo of the University of Grants Commission office.

To encourage research scholars to become well-trained researchers and inquisitive explorers, the University of Grants Commission (UGC) regulations, which set the minimum standards and procedure for awarding PhDs, have been revised according to the recommendations of National Education Policy (NEP-2020).

According to the new regulations, a candidate who has completed first or second semester Master’s degree programme, after four year or eight semester Bachelor’s degree (Honours degree) can apply for the PhD programme.

A candidate who has completed two years or four semester Master’s degree programme after a three years Bachelor’s degree programme or qualifications equivalent to the Master’s degree by the corresponding statutory regulatory body, with at least 55% marks in aggregate or its equivalent grade in a point scale wherever grading system is followed, is also eligible for PhD programme.

A candidate who has equivalent qualification from a foreign educational institution accredited by an assessment and accreditation agency, which is approved, recognised, or authorised by an authority, established or incorporated under a law in its home country or any other statutory authority in that country to assess, accredit or assure quality and standards of the educational institution, can apply for the PhD programme.

The UGC has given relaxation of 5% marks or its equivalent grade to those belonging to SCs, STs, OBCs, differently-abled, Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), and other categories candidates.

Candidates who have completed the MPhil programme with at least 55% marks in aggregate shall be eligible for admission to the PhD programme.

The PhD programme will be for a minimum of three years, including course work, and a maximum of six years from the date of admission. A maximum of an additional two years can be given through a process of re-registration as per the ordinance of the higher educational institution concerned.

However, the total period for completion of a PhD programme should not exceed eight years from the date of admission.

Further, female PhD scholars and persons with disabilities may be allowed an additional relaxation of two years. However, the total period for completion of a PhD programme in such cases should not exceed 10 years. Female PhD scholars may be provided maternity leave or child care leave for up to 240 days in the entire duration of the PhD programme.

According to the new regulations, higher educational institutions may admit students who qualify for fellowship, scholarship in UGC-NET or UGC- CSIR NET, GATE, CEED, and similar national-level tests based on an interview or entrance test conducted at the level of the institutions.

The entrance test syllabus shall consist of 50% of research methodology, and 50% shall be subjects specific.

The PhD thesis shall be evaluated by a research supervisor and at least two external examiners who are experts in the field and not in employment of the higher educational institution.

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