New Delhi: Students aspiring to pursue PhD programmes should not fall in any trap of institutions or universities which are offering PhD courses through distance learning mode. As per UGC (Minimum standards and procedure for awards of MPhill/PhD Degree) Regulations, 2016, no University/institution is allowed to offer MPhil and PhD programme through distance learning mode.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) said that students should not to take admission in any MPhil/PhD programme, if offered by any University/institution through distance learning mode.
In a notification issued by the UGC Dt 31 May 2017, the higher education regulator clarified that the UGC has allowed Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), and some other State Open Universities to conduct MPhil/PhD programmes in non-technical programmes in Regular (full-time/part-time) mode only provided these universities abide by the UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of MPhil/PhD Degrees) Regulations, 2016 and have specific approval of the UGC.
As per the MPhil/PhD Regulations 2016, institutions or universities can offer Regular (full-time/part-time) mode doctoral courses. Here it can mentioned that part-time PhD will be allowed provided all the conditions mentioned in the extant PhD Regulations are met.
During 2014-15 academic year, a total number of 27,327 students were awarded research degree PhD, as per the UGC Annual Report 2016. As per AISHE 2015-16, nearly 1.26 lakh students are enrolled in various PhD programmes in 2015-16, which is less than 0.4% of the total student enrolment in the higher education system in India. At PhD level, maximum number of students is enrolled in Science stream followed by Engineering and Technology.