PhD mandatory for university teachers from 2021: UGC

In an effort to bring about an overall improvement in the quality of education in higher educational institutions, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has made new regulations, making a PhD compulsory for teaching at university level from 2021.

“From 2021, a PhD will be a must for teaching at university level, even for assistant professors, which is the entry-level designation for instructors in universities,” the UGC said in a statement.

As per the new regulations, teachers will have to undergo a mandatory, month-long induction programme before starting work and also have to devote two hours to mentor students for community development/extra-curricular activities.

“These changes have been made to enhance the quality of education in the higher education sector. The UGC will soon define the minimum qualifications for teachers,” a senior MHRD official was quoted as saying.

Till date, the minimum eligibility criteria for an assistant professor was that they should have cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET) and have a Masters degree. The UGC will notify the new qualifications soon.

“In addition to the PhD, aspirants will have to clear the National Eligibility Test (NET) or an accredited test (state level eligibility test) or other similar exams,” the HRD ministry official added.

According to reports, those who received PhDs before 2009 will not be asked to clear the NET. Apart from this, the regulations drafted by the UGC have been sent to the MHRD for approval.

“The Seventh Pay Commission had recommended that PhD should be the minimum eligibility for recruitment at universities. After much consideration, it was decided that it should be applicable from 2021. NET as the minimum eligibility criteria is important for a diverse country and as there are so many different subjects,” VS Chauhan, chairman of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), said.

Doing away with the Academic Performance Indicator (API) based appraisal, the introduction of a simplified teacher evaluation grading system, and the addition of an academic/research score for universities to improve research output are part of the new regulations drafted by the UGC.

According to the new regulation, students who have PhD degrees from colleges ranked among 500 in the World University Ranking (at any time) by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the Times Higher Education (THE) or the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai), will be recruited directly. The University of Delhi will not be able to recruit their PhDs directly. They’ll have to clear the NET.