Higher Education

Higher Education

UGC lowers cut off for PhD enrolment

PUBLISH DATE 5th September 2018

The University Grants Commission has made some regulations to amend to UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Awards of MPhil/PhD Degree) Regulations 2016. The new regulation stated that a relaxation of 5% of marks (from 50% to 45%) will be given to candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes/differently-abled category in the entrance examination conducted by the universities.

Talking to Education Times on the sidelines of launch of Innovation Cell and Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements', HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said, "The UGC move came in after my proposal and it was done to increase the representation of reserved categories in the field of research."

According to All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2017-18, only 1,61,412 students are enrolled in PhD that is less than 0.5% of the total student enrolment.

Of the total 1,61, 412 students, Scheduled Casts students constitute 14.4%, 5.2% belong to Scheduled Tribes and 35% students belong to Other Backward Classes.

Jyoti Atwal, associate professor, Jawaharlal Lal Nehru University, said, "The decision to lower the cut off is a welcome move but the restriction by UGC to enrol only 194 students should also be do away with to increase the enrolment in research. Our university being a central university is affordable for students belonging to reserved categories but at present we have more teachers than students because of the restrictions."

Dhananjai Yadav, head of Education Department, University of Allahabad , was of an opinion that SC, ST students pursuing higher education are mostly first-generation learners and lack family support and motivation. "So, by lowering the cut off, the UGC is motivating the students belonging to these categories to pursue research. Furthermore, with change in rules for appointment of professors or assistant professors in universities, it will prove beneficial to give representation to SC, ST or OBC categories in higher education workforce."

Called as UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Awards of MPhil/PhD Degree) Regulations 2018, it further stated, "The concerned universities will have to launch a special admission drive for reserved category within one month from the date of closure of admissions of General Category if they fail to fill the vacant seats."

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