UGC, New Rules for PhD Courses and Open Universities

Sarika Rana updated on : 07 Oct 2016

According to UGC, no open universities can offer PhD/MPhil programmes, however, looks like these universities will not give up easy. Read to know more!

UGC, New Rules for PhD Courses

The University Grants Commission (UGC), according to its newly set regulation, stated that the open distance learning universities would not offer MPhil and PhD programmes in distance learning mode. However, part-time PhD will be allowed through distance mode, provided all the conditions are followed that are mentioned in the regulations. Recently, India’s biggest Open University, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) announced that it is resuming its MPhil and PhD programmes. With this step, IGNOU has openly challenged UGC’s decision.

Other open universities have also come forward to take permission from UGC to start PhDs in accordance with these norms. Chances are that they get permission but need to adhere to all the regulations set by the commission.

As per the UGC regulations 2016, here are a few guidelines that the universities would need to follow-

  1. The maximum duration of MPhil is two years and for PhD is six years.
  2. Women candidates and persons with disability can be allowed a relaxation of one year for MPhil and two years for PhD.
  3. Women will be eligible for maternity leave once in the entire duration of both the programmes for up to 240 days.
  4. All the universities will select candidates for both the programmes by an entrance test.
  5. These universities will need to outline separate terms and conditions for PhD entrance tests for students who qualify UGC-National Eligibility Test/UGC- Council of Scientific and Industrial Research NET/Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering/State Level Eligibility Test/teacher Fellowship Holders or someone who has passed MPhil programme.
  6. There will be a Research Advisory Committee, for each PhD and MPhil scholar. This committee will review the research proposal and decide the topic of the research. It will constantly guide the researcher to identify the course s/he wants to do.
  7. The scholar will have to appear before the committee once in every six months to make a presentation of what is the scholar studying and the progress s/he has made.

The open universities have however questioned the new regulations and want rectifications made by UGC. 

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