PhD not mandatory for appointment of assistant professors, says new UGC notice: What it means


Candidates for the post of assistant professor in universities and colleges are no longer required to hold PhDs in order to be eligible for the entry-level position, as per a fresh order by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The big point: In a reversal of its earlier decision, the UGC has announced that exams such as the National Eligibility Test (NET), State Eligibility Test (SET), and State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) will be the requisite criteria for appointment to the post of assistant professor in all universities and colleges.

The details: In a notification issued on June 30,  the UGC said, NET/SET/SLET shall be the minimum criteria for the direct recruitment to the post of Assistant Professor for all Higher Education Institutions.” UGC chairperson Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar further clarified, “Ph.D. qualification for appointment as an Assistant Professor would be optional from 01 July 2023.”

But, but: A notice issued by the UGC noted that depending on the discipline, institutions can decide upon shortlisting criteria above the minimum specified by the UGC. Further, a PhD is still mandatory to rise to the post of associate professor.

Previously: A PhD degree had been made mandatory for hiring to the assistant professor’s post in universities in 2018. However, a three-year window to candidates to complete their PhDs and the UGC had directed universities and colleges to start applying the criteria for recruitment only from 2021. In 2021, the UGC had pushed the date of applicability of PhD as the minimum qualification for the post of assistant professor to July 2023.

The why: The UGC has said that the amended regulations will play a crucial role in streamlining the recruitment process and ensuring that only deserving candidates are appointed as assistant professors.


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