HYDERABAD: For 27-year-old Jui Mukherjee, a communications professional who cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET) this year, the decision of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to only allow those who have a PhD to apply for assistant professor posts came as a shocker. Mukherjee’s plan was to get a job and then pursue her PhD while working as an assistant professor. She said the decision, which will be implemented from the academic year 2021, implies that people like her, who planned to get into teaching a couple of years later will now have to focus on completing PhD — investment of at least four long years, until she can start teaching.
While she feels that in an ideal world a teacher with a PhD might add to the students’ learning process by a great deal, considering the loopholes in education system, this can be exploited by those who are looking to obtain for a PhD for the purpose of a job too. Looking at this from various levels in higher education, wherein colleges, teaching is more important, it could affect the prospects of many teachers, said Prof BP Sanjay, pro VC of University of Hyderabad.
However, at the university level, research culture is needed for effective teaching and PhD as a pre-requisite will be helpful, he added. “It becomes an essential qualification. However, how an individual uses his research to guide students depends on him or her,” said the Professor.
There were other opinions too. Though there will be exceptions, this is a positive move and will help in putting India alongside its counterparts in research at the global level, said Prof S Ramachandram, vice chancellor, Osmania University.
“In the time spent in doing a PhD, they find something new in their subject and this ability will help a lot in the classroom. They are innovative and develop the skill of problem solving, which helps in mentoring students who come for higher education,” said the professor.
This move will make a lot of difference as they can analyse and interpret the subject better and this also needs to be taught to our students as research and academics go hand in hand, said Prof E Suresh Kumar, vice chancellor, English and Foreign Languages University.