The face of PhD will change after the implementation of new rules.

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Big news is coming from the University Grant Commission-UGC for the youth who aspire to do PhD. Or in other words, there should not be any exaggeration, UGC has now given a unique gift full of new life sciences to the PhD aspirants. From 2024-25, now only one National Eligibility Test – NET – will have to be given for admission to PhD. This is an important part of the new education policy-2020. With this move of the apex institute of higher education, there will no longer be a need for many entrance examinations across the country. This important decision has been taken following the recommendations of an expert committee appointed to review the NET exam provisions. This major change was given the green signal during the recently held 578th meeting of the UGC. UGC has announced to implement it from June itself. It is noteworthy that along with the recommendations to implement NEP-2020, the Central Government declared M.Phil. as unnecessary. Had bid farewell. After this decision of UGC, MPhil degree is no longer being given in any government or private university across the country. NET examination has till now been conducted mainly to determine eligibility for Junior Research Fellowship- JRF and appointments to Assistant Professors. Now its scope has been expanded. NET examination will be the only eligibility criteria for admission to All Over India PhD. The result for admission to PhD will be released in percentile with the marks obtained by the candidate. Let us tell you, till now under the PhD Regulation Act-2022, only JRF pass students have been getting admission in PhD on interview basis. Notification of new change in guidelines has also been issued by UGC.

According to the new rules, the eligibility of UGC NET qualified candidates from June 2024 will be in three categories. One- Will be eligible for PhD admission along with the appointment of JRF and Assistant Professor. Two- Applicants who are eligible for PhD admission without JRF but want Assistant Professor appointment. Three- They will be fully entitled for admission to the PhD programme. For PhD admission through NET, the weightage of NET score in categories two and three will be 70 percent, while 30 percent weightage will be given through interview. This interview will be held under the selected university of the applicant candidate. This certificate will remain valid for one year. If the applicant does not take admission within this time period then he will be ineligible for it. In such a situation, the candidate will have to appear in the NET exam again. The association of Jai Anusandhan in Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan shows the dedication of the illustrious Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi towards research and how serious our central government is about global ranking. The budget of National Research Foundation-NRF has been allocated Rs 50 thousand crore for five years in 2021-22. Hopefully, new avenues of progress will emerge in the field of research. Shri Modi believes that students will have to make research and innovation a way of life. In his concise address through video conferencing to the students participating in the final of Smart India Hackathon, he had said that innovation is now getting more acceptance in the society. Referring to the research, Jai said, the participants of Smart India Hackathon are its flag bearers. Well-known educationist Prof. Yashpal believes that educational institutions which do not pay attention to research and its quality are neither able to do good to education nor to the society.

Confident UGC Chairman Prof. M. Jagadish Kumar says, this change will undoubtedly make an invaluable contribution to promoting an environment more conducive to academic pursuit and scholarly advancement in the country. Pro. Kumar says, National Examination Agency-NTA is going to give concrete shape from next week. This will not only provide relief to students from preparing for PhD entrance examinations conducted by various universities, but will also reduce the burden of examination resources and expenses. Educationists believe that UGC NET exam will not only open the doors of prestigious universities based on your scores, but will also pave the way for you to get attractive scholarships. Now there is no need to give separate entrance exam for PhD admission in IIT, IIM or any other university, because now one PhD entrance exam formula has been implemented in the country.

India is one of the fastest growing research countries in the world. According to QS Research World Universities, India’s research output has increased by about 54 percent between 2017-2022. This is more than twice the global average, while the global average is 22 percent. 66 universities of India were included in this. India’s research ranks fourth in the world after China, America and UK. According to QS, India has produced 1.3 million academic papers between 2017-2022. During this period, about 15 percent of the research papers have been published in top journals. QS has made this disclosure in its ranking. The figure for the United Kingdom in academic papers is 1.4 million. It would be no exaggeration, India will overtake the UK in the near future. What’s more, India ranks ninth in citations with 8.9 million citations. The QS Research World University Rankings analyzed data from more than 1,300 universities from 93 countries across the world, including India, to determine this ranking. Factors such as research output, teaching quality and employer reputation were included in determining the ranking. The most abundant field of research in India is engineering and technology. After this comes natural science, biology and medicine. India produces 19 percent of its research output in collaboration with two or more countries. This is 21 percent on the global average. There is no doubt, India is the fastest growing research hub in the world.

-Pro. Shyam Sundar Bhatia

(The author is a senior journalist and research scholar. Samprati is a media manager in a renowned private university of North India.)

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