Enrolling for PhD gets tougher: No admission without passing NET, SET
According to the new sets of draft regulations uploaded by University Grants Commission (UGC) in its website, getting admission to PhD will be difficult.
The UGC has uploaded new sets of draft regulations on its website according to which, getting admission to PhD will now be quite difficult. Regarding the amendments, the public and stakeholders can provide feedback till June 15.
The UGC has uploaded new sets of draft regulations on its website according to which, getting admission to PhD will now be quite difficult. The draft regulation has suggested that the institutions which come under ‘Category III Institution’ would enroll candidates who have qualified the NET or SLET or SET examinations for their PhD courses only.
There is a huge incentive for universities to be in Category 1 of the newly graded autonomy regulation, the draft of which was put up by the UGC last week. However, there is a major disincentive for research students who are planning to enrol in universities which are graded in Category 3. They will be allowed to pursue a PhD degree only if they clear the National Eligibility Test (NET), State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) or other State Eligibility Tests (SET).
Universities graded in Category 3 by the UGC have a National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) rank of 100+ and a National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) score of less than three. According to a member of the panel which came up with the new regulations, these are institutions which need to pull up their socks as far as quality of higher education is concerned.
Currently the only eligibility criteria for students to enrol for a PhD in Tamil Nadu are a undergraduate and Masters degree with 55% marks in aggregate. PhD is also a pre-requisite for getting teaching jobs in the state along with the eligibility tests. Many students in Tamil Nadu feel that the eligibility tests are difficult and try to get the PhD degree to be eligible for teaching posts.
In the new regulation, UGC has also mentioned that NET/SLET/SET shall not be required as eligibility criteria for PhDs in such programmes for which the exams are not conducted.
What is Category I University?
According to UGC, a Category I University is “if it has been accredited by NAAC with score of 3.5 or above or if it has achieved a ranking in the top 50 institutions of the NIRF ranking in the category of universities for 2 years continuously.”
What is Category II University?
Category II University is”if it has been accredited by NAAC with score between 3.01 and 3.49 or if it has achieved a ranking from 51 to 100 in the NIRF ranking in the category of universities for 2 years continuously.”
What is Category III University?
Category III University is if it does not come either under the Category I or Category II as mentioned above and the new regulation mandates that only those candidates would be eligible for enrolling to PhD course into Category-III institutions who have qualified the NET, SET or SLET examinations.
The regulations/guidelines/amendment uploaded by UGC for seeking feedback/comments from general public/stakeholders is available in the official website’s notices section.
UGC proposes draft rules that make enrolling for PhD tougher
If a university or higher educational institution does not figure among the top 50 in the national ranking or has a poor National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) grading, admissions in PhD courses offered by it may get tougher as University Grants Commission (UGC) has proposed making NET mandatory for the same.
According to the new draft regulations by UGC, institutions which come under “Category III”, can enroll only those candidates who have qualified the National Eligibility Test (NET) or SLET or States Eligibility Test (SET) examinations for their PhD courses.
As per the draft rules, a “Category I” university will be that which has been accredited by NAAC with score of 3.5 or above or if it has achieved a ranking in the top 50 institutions of the government’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for two years continuously.
A varsity will be put under “Category II” if it has been accredited by NAAC with a score between 3.01 and 3.49 or if it has achieved a ranking from 51 to 100 in the NIRF ranking for two years continuously.
All varsities which do not fall under Category I and II, will find place in the Category III. “An institution which is under Category III, only those candidates would be eligible for enrolling to a PhD course who have qualified the NET/SLET/SET examinations,” the draft reads.
NET is an examination to determine eligibility for college and university-level lectureship and for award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) while SET is a state-level test accredited by UGC for eligibility of assistant professors.
The UGC has sought feedback from all stakeholders to the proposed regulations by end of this month. Linking autonomy with ranking, norms on hiring foreign faculty and opening new campuses are among the key regulations highlighted in the draft.