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Sunday Special: New norms by UGC for awarding MPhil/PhD degrees aim at streamlining administration process and bringing transparency in selection

By   /  October 16, 2016  /  Comments Off on Sunday Special: New norms by UGC for awarding MPhil/PhD degrees aim at streamlining administration process and bringing transparency in selection

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By Rudra Narayan Sahoo, New Delhi: New rules for award of research degrees such as MPhil and PhD at Indian universities are in place as University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of MPhil/PhD Degrees) Regulations, 2016 has been already notified. The new regulations on MPhil and PhD  study are aimed at streamline admission process, improving quality research education and fixing administration system. Further, the new rules aim at motivating women candidates to pursue research by relaxing some norms and greater flexibility.

UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of MPhil/PhD Degrees) Regulations 2016 has been notified in July 2016. As per All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE 2014-15) provisional report, a total of 1.12 lakh students were enrolled in PhD.  This was about below 0.4% of the total student enrolment in the academic year 2014-15. Out of the total PhD students 40% were female. Here, SkillOutlook presents the key features of the new norms for awarding research degrees such as  MPhil and PhD.

1.Eligibility for the MPhil Programme: For MPhil programme, candidates must have a Master’s degree or a professional degree declared equivalent to the Master’s degree by the corresponding statutory regulatory body, with at least 55% marks in aggregate or its equivalent grade ‘B’ in the UGC 7-point scale. Further, a relaxation of 5% of marks, from 55% to 50%, or an equivalent relaxation of grade, is allowed for those belonging to SC/ST/OBC(non-creamy layer)/Differently-Abled and other categories of candidates as per the decision of the Commission from time to time.

2.Eligibility for the PhD Programme: For PhD programme, candidates must have a Master’s degree or a professional degree declared equivalent to the Master’s degree, with at least 55% marks in aggregate or its equivalent grade ‘B’ in the UGC 7-point scale. Further, a relaxation of 5% of marks, from 55% to 50%, is allowed for those belonging to SC/ST/OBC(non-creamy layer)/Differently-Abled and other categories of candidates as per the decision of the Commission from time to time.

For candidates who have cleared the MPhil course work, they must have at least 55% marks in aggregate or its equivalent grade ‘B’ in the UGC 7-point scale and successfully completing the MPhil Degree shall be eligible to proceed to do research work leading to the Ph. D. Degree in the same Institution in an integrated programme. A relaxation of 5% of marks, 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 and other categories of candidates as per the decision of the Commission from time to time. For the more detailed eligibility criteria on PhD programme, the candidates should refer the Regulations notification uploaded at the UGC website: http://www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/4952604_UGC-(M.PHIL.-PH.D-DEGREES)-REGULATIONS,-2016.pdf

3.Duration: MPhil programme shall be for a minimum duration of two (2) consecutive semesters / one year and a maximum of four (4) consecutive semesters / two years.  For PhD course, the minimum duration of programme is three years, including course work while  maximum duration of course is six years (6).

4.Relaxation of duration for women and PwD candidates:  The women candidates and Persons with Disability (more than 40% disability) are allowed a relaxation of one year for MPhil and two years for PhD in the maximum duration.

5.Incentives for female candidates: In a bid to increase enrolment of women candidates in research degrees, the new regulations say the women candidates are provided Maternity Leave/Child Care Leave once in the entire duration of MPhil/PhD for up to 240 days.  Further, women candidates are now also allowed to transfer research data due to relocations to new institutions. Hence going forward, if a woman candidate shifts her place of work or residence because of any personal or professional reasons (including marriage), the concerned female candidate will be able to transfer her research work from one university to another close to her where she is shifting.

6.Selection Procedure: All Universities and Institutions Deemed to be Universities will have to admit MPhil/PhD students through an Entrance Test conducted at the level of Individual University/Institution Deemed to be a University. The University/Institution Deemed to be a University may decide separate terms and conditions for Ph.D. Entrance Test for those students who qualify UGC-NET (including JRF)/UGC-CSIR NET (including JRF)/SLET/GATE/teacher fellowship holder or have passed M.Phil programme. Similar approach may be adopted in respect of Entrance Test for M.Phil programme.

7.Number of PhD scholars per supervisor:  As per the new norms, number of MPhil scholars per supervisor now at 3/2/1 for professor/associate professor/assistant professor, respectively. It was five per supervisor earlier. On the other hand, the new rules stipulated that number of PhD scholars per supervisor now is now fixed at 8/6/4 for professor/associate professor/assistant professor, respectively. Earlier, it was eight per supervisor.

8.Supervisor: As per the notified regulations, only a full-time regular teacher of the concerned university/college should act as a supervisor. Hence, an external, visiting, adjunct or part-time teacher in a university cannot be the core supervisor of a research scholar. However, a co-supervisor can be allowed in inter-disciplinary areas.

9.Course Work: The credit assigned to the MPhil or PhD course work shall be a minimum of 08 credits and a maximum of 16 credits. All candidates admitted to the MPhil and PhD programmes are required to complete the course work prescribed by the Department during the initial one or two semesters.

A MPhil/PhD scholar has to obtain a minimum of 55% of marks or its equivalent grade in the UGC 7-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 programme and submit the dissertation/thesis.

10.Stringent norms for institutions offering MPhil/PhD programmes: To improve quality of education at research programmes, the new norms emphasized more on infrastructure and research facilities. Colleges for getting recognition to offer MPhil/Ph D programmes only if they satisfy the availability of eligible Research Supervisors, required infrastructure and supporting administrative and research promotion facilities as per these Regulations.

For more details on the MPhil/PhD programme new norms, interested candidates should refer the exact notification uploaded on the UGC website: http://www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/4952604_UGC-(M.PHIL.-PH.D-DEGREES)-REGULATIONS,-2016.pdf

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