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As per recent news, PhD will become necessary for those willing to apply at university for teaching from 2021, according to a draft policy document. Also aspirants have to clear the National Eligibility Test (NET) or any accredited test or any other similar exam. This is mandatory for all the university teachers from 2021.

Initially, the minimum eligibility requirement to be an assistant professor in any university was that one should have cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET) and have a Masters degree but from 2021 it will be mandatory to have a PhD too in order to be an assistant professor in the university. From 2021 this will be the entry level designations in universities. The ones willing to be appointed as teachers have to undergo a mandatory month-long induction programme before starting working and also devote two hours for mentoring for students for community development or extra-curricular activities. These changes have been made to enhance the quality of education in the higher education sector as per the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry official. Also University Grant Commission (UGC) will also be defining the minimum qualifications for teachers soon.

Currently, the minimum eligibility requirement for an assistant professor in a university Is to clear the National Eligibility Test (NET) or an accredited test or any other similar exam along with a Masters degree. For those who have obtained their PhDs before 2009 they need not require to clear the NET. The government is likely to notify the new qualifications and other measures soon.  In order to encourage the best minds some of the other features of the regulation that were included were doing away with the Academic Performance Indicator (API) based appraisal, the introduction of a simplified teacher evaluation grading system and along with it the addition of a academic/research score for universities to improve the research output. Also, promotion up to the level of associate professor in colleges will be based on teaching-centric metrics and in universities, it will depend on teaching and research. Alongside, PhD has been made mandatory for promotion too. A special provision has been made for those who made a mark in foreign universities for their recruitment of assistant professors in universities and colleges. To be eligible for direct recruitment and to not be required to clear NET, the applicant needs to have a PhD degree from a university/institution with a ranking among top 500 in the World University Ranking by Quacquarelli Symonds(QS) , The Times Higher Education(THE) or The Academic Ranking of World Universities(ARWU) of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai).  VS Chauhan, earlier the chairman of the pay review commission for the seventh Central Pay Commission (CPC) and now the current Chairman of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) said, “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.” “I am unaware as to what has prompted these changes. I am sure that there must be some wisdom behind them.” Said Dinesh Singh, former Vice Chancellor of University of Delhi. He further added that it was ironical that because it isn’t in the Top 500 globally, the University of Delhi will, in effect, not be able to hire its own PhDs directly and require them to clear NET. “I have first-hand knowledge of so many doctoral students of the universities whose doctoral work have been deemed outstanding at the global level and have been published in outstanding research journals. Such PhDs will be humiliated by making them take the NET exam,” he added.

~Preksha Mishra


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