NEW DELHI: After deferring the implementation of PhD as minimum qualification for the appointment of university teachers for two years, the higher education regulator is now considering to junk the proposal completely.
The possible U-turn comes amid emerging understanding that making it mandatory may further dilute the quality of the research degree in India.
In August, the University Grants Commission had put on hold the implementation of guidelines released three years ago, which proposed making PhD mandatory for hiring assistant professors.
The guidelines, “Minimum qualifications for Appointments of Teachers in universities and colleges and measures for maintenance of standards in higher education,” proposed by the UGC in 2018 were set to be notified from the current academic session but have been deferred in the view of Covid.
Sources said the proposal could now be dropped for good as policy makers feel it could spur instances of fake PhD and PhDs for sale by many institutions.
Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan had last week said in Allahabad that making PhD mandatory for the post of assistant professor is “not favourable” in the current education system.
UGC officials who did not want to be named said the new thinking is that pushing candidates to pursue PhD to get a teaching job may end up making the degree a “compliance tool” rather than ushering in reforms.
In 2019, a four-member committee tasked with recommending ways to improve the quality and standard of research, while proposing sweeping changes, had also hinted that PhD as a minimum qualification for assistant professors may not be a good idea.
The recommendations of the panel headed by former Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, director P Balram, however, are yet to be officially accepted.