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UGC NET Revises Rules For PhD Admissions

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has revised the admission rules for the Ph.D. programs. According to the revision of admission rules, an entrance test for admission has been included apart from the qualification through the already existing National Eligibility Test (NET). UGC has taken a number of initiatives for the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) and the revision of admission rules is connected to the recommendation of NEP made for the minimum standards to award the PhD. Now, UGC has developed a draft of UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedures for Award of PhD Degree) Regulations, 2022. 

According to the Draft, a proposal has been made to fill 60% of the PhD seats through the National Eligibility Test (UGC NET) or Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) qualified students. The rest of the 40% seats will be filled through the entrance test conducted by the universities/ colleges. The revision will be applicable to every University established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a Provincial Act, or a State Act, and every Institution Deemed to be a University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956 and every degree-granting autonomous College and every affiliated college, allowed to offer Ph.D. programs. The new rule will come into force from the date of its publication in the Gazette of India.

As of now, PhD aspirants are required to clear the NET/JRF examination conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) to get enrolled in the PhD programs in various Indian Universities. After the revision of the admission rules, the candidates qualified through the NET/JRF will be selected on the basis of interviews or viva. On the other hand, for the candidates who opt for the entrance exam, the selection will be evaluated on the basis of a 70:30 ratio- 70% (entrance exam) and 30% (interview).

UGC NET Revised Rule For Ph. D Admission PDF

The draft states that the merit list for both will be published separately. Qualifying marks in the entrance test will be 50%, provided that a relaxation of 5 per cent of marks (from 50% to 45%) shall be allowed for candidates belonging to SC/ST/OBC (Non-creamy layers)/ Differently-abled category in the entrance examination conducted by the universities. An interview/viva-voce has to be organised by the university/college concerned wherein the candidates are required to discuss their research interest/area through a presentation before a duly constituted departmental research committee.  

According to the Draft, research on socially relevant/locally need-based/ nationally important/globally significant/create value to the society or in cutting edge areas or contribute to new/additional knowledge in the areas of emerging concerns worldwide will be encouraged.

The draft also mentions a detailed list of eligibility criteria to be a Research Supervisor, Co-Supervisor, Number of Ph.D. scholars permissible per Supervisor, etc. and other obligations that need to be maintained by the Research Supervisor. 

UGC Revises Rules For PhD Admissions: Highlights

  • A 1-year/2-semester Master’s degree program (after 4 year undergraduate degree) with at least 55% marks in aggregate or its equivalent grade ‘B’ in the UGC 10- point scale (or an equivalent grade in a point scale wherever grading system is followed) is required for the candidates for admission in Ph.D. program.
  • A relaxation of 5% of marks in Masters degree, from 55% to 50%, or an equivalent relaxation of grade, may be allowed for those belonging to SC/ST/OBC (non-creamy layer)/Differently-Abled, Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and other categories of candidates.
  • Ph.D. program shall be for a minimum duration of two years excluding course work, and a maximum of six years.
  • Women candidates and Persons with Disabilities (more than 40% disability) may be allowed a relaxation of two years for a Ph.D. in the maximum duration. In addition, women candidates may be provided Maternity Leave/Child Care Leave for up to 240 days once in the entire duration of Ph.D.
  • All Universities shall admit Ph.D. Scholars through a National Eligibility Test (NET) or
    National Entrance Test or an Entrance test conducted at the level of individual universities.
  • In case of relocation of a woman Ph.D. scholar due to marriage or otherwise, the research data shall be allowed to be transferred to the University/College to which the scholar intends to relocate, provided all the other conditions in these regulations are followed in letter and spirit and the research work does not pertain to the project secured by the parent Institution/ Supervisor from any funding agency.
  • All candidates admitted to the Ph.D. programs shall be required to complete the course work prescribed by the Department during the initial one or two semesters. In case of pandemic like situation, provision of blended mode should be made available.
  • A Ph.D. scholar has to obtain a minimum of 55% of marks or its equivalent grade in the UGC 10-point scale (or an equivalent grade/CGPA in a point scale wherever grading system is followed) in the course work in order to be eligible to continue in the program and submit the thesis.
  • The M.Phil (Master of Philosophy) degree shall be de-specified from the Academic year 2022-23 onwards. M.Phil. degree awarded till the date of notification of these regulations shall remain valid.
  • University teachers after superannuation, if they are re-appointed in the parent University as contract or honorary or distinguished or emeritus professor, may continue as Research
    Supervisors till the age of 70.
  • Prior to the actual award of the degree, the degree-awarding Institution shall issue a provisional certificate to the effect that the Degree has been awarded in accordance with the provisions of these UGC Regulations


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