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UGC reverses decision on mandatory PhD for recruitment of assistant professors, NET to be minimum criteria

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NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission has reversed its decision to make PhDs mandatory for hiring assistant professors, saying exams like the NET, SET, and SLET will be the minimum criteria for direct recruitment to the post, according to officials.

“PhD qualification for appointment as an assistant professor would continue to be optional. The National Eligibility Test (NET), State Eligibility Test (SET) and State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) shall be the minimum criteria for the direct recruitment to the post of assistant professor for all Higher Education Institutions,” said UGC Chairman, M Jagadesh Kumar.

In 2018, the UGC set the criteria for recruitment for entry-level posts at universities and colleges. It gave a three-year window to candidates to complete their PhDs and asked all universities and colleges to start applying the criteria for recruitment from the 2021-22 academic session.

However, the UGC in 2021 extended the date of applicability of PhD as the minimum qualification for recruitment of assistant professors in universities from July 2021 to July 2023.

The decision came amid the Covid pandemic that brought the research work of PhD students to a standstill due to the prolonged closure of educational institutions.

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also said in 2021 that making PhD degree mandatory for the post of assistant professor at universities is “not favourable” in the current education system.

“We believe that a PhD is not required to become an assistant professor. This condition cannot be kept if good talent is to be drawn to teaching. Yes, it is required at the level of associate professors and professors. But a PhD for an assistant professor is perhaps not favourable in our system and that’s why we have rectified it,” he had said. (PTI)

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