NEW DELHI: Starting 2021, it will be mandatory for anyone aspiring to teach in a college or university in India to have a PhD, Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar announced on Wednesday.
At present, it is enough to have a Master’s degree and clear the National Eligibility Test (NET) to secure an assistant professor’s post in a college or university. Central universities are an exception, where having a PhD is a must to teach even at the entry level. The government has also done away with Academic Performance Index as a tool to measure the performance of teachers at the college level.
Javadekar announced that instead of the Academic Performance Index tool, the University Grants Commission had introduced a new and “simplified” teacher evaluation grading system. “Publication of research work in academic journals is no longer a criterion for promotion. However, teachers can continue to conduct research. This step is to ensure that only those who want to do research carry it out while it will not be mandatory for others,” the HRD minister said.
The new regulations have made special provisions for recruitment of assistant professors from among PhD degree holders who have graduated from a college or university that is in the top 500 globally.
Ministry officials, however, clarified that the NET would continue and be used as an entrance test for enrolment into PhD programmes. At present, only top scorers in the NET get junior research fellowships, although everyone who clears it is eligible to apply for a teaching post in an institute of higher education.
The new regulations also mandate the introduction of a one-month induction programme for newly recruited assistant professors. Also, for the first time, weightage will be assigned for promotion of teachers in respect of online courses and e-content in universities and colleges.
A ministry statement said research clusters would be created in universities within a state for sharing research facilities, skills and infrastructure to ensure optimal utilisation of resources and creating synergies among higher education institutions.