All higher education institutions across the country will soon have to enroll all category of students in PhD programmes on the basis of their scores in entrance test and interview.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) is in the process of making it mandatory for all higher education institutions to follow the two-step process for selection of students for M Phill and PhD programmes.
With the enforcement of the revised rules, the national eligibility test (NET) qualified research scholars and those with M Phill degree will also have to clear both the entrance test and the interview.
A large number of higher education institutions in various states admit NET-qualified research scholars and those with M Phill degrees on the basis of their performance in interviews. The existing rules provide the universities and other higher education institutions the freedom to decide their own terms and conditions for admission.
The proposed changes in the UGC regulations aim at bringing uniformity in the admission process and standardise the entrance tests held by the individual institutions for admissions.
In the revised UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of M Phil/PhD Degrees) Regulations formulated by a committee of experts, the commission has proposed to roll out a national entrance test for M Phil and PhD programmes.
In the draft regulations, it has left it open for the states to decide if they want to conduct a common entrance test for filling up M Phill and PhD seats in the higher education institutions functioning under them.
The higher education institutions have also not been restricted from conducting their own entrance tests and interviews for admission.
“But they will have to keep the standards of their test at par with those proposed to be held at the national and the state levels,” official sources in the commission clarified.
The proposed national entrance test as well as those to be conducted by the states and the individual institutions will measure the students’ research aptitude, analytical skills, writing skills, comprehension and reasoning “beyond the subject competency with appropriate thresholds.”
“The qualifying marks in the entrance test will be 50%. The syllabus of the entrance test shall consist of 50% of the questions which tests research aptitude, while 50% shall be subject-specific,” the draft regulations provide.
A relaxation of 5% of marks (from 50% to 45%) “shall be” allowed for the candidates belonging to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes (non-creamy layer) and differently-abled category in the entrance examination.
Institutions functioning under the State governments will continue to follow the reservation rules for admission formulated by the respective State governments.
“For the selection of the candidates, a weightage of 50% to the entrance test and 50% to the performance in the interview/viva-voce shall be given,” the draft regulations provide.