PhD not mandatory to be Assistant Professors: UGC

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PhD will not be mandatory to teach in central universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has said. The move is being taken by the commission so that more industry experts who do not have PhDs can be appointed as assistant professors across universities.

As per reports, UGC is planning to create new positions for such teachers. They will likely be appointed as Professors of Practice and Associate Professor of Practice. While appointing such professors, their industry experience would be considered.

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The move is being taken to allow teachers who do not have PhD degree to provide hands-on training to the students and share their knowledge, UGC said, according to a leading news daily. The decision to appoint for the new positions also aims to provide the opportunity to many experts want to teach in universities but can’t as they have no PhD degree.

The plan, however, is at a very initial stage. A final confirmation is yet to be released. Besides, a committee will be set up to chart out the details before making any official announcements.

UGC, however, is yet to clarify if these teaching positions will be temporary or permanent. It can also be part-time and the appointment of professors will depend on the institute’s requirement.

Earlier, the Central government had amended the UGC regulations that made PhD the minimum eligibility criteria for hiring assistant professors. The regulations were to come to effect from 2021, but got deferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was later extended till July 2023. In the meantime, hiring is to continue on the basis of the UGC NET score.

“UGC in view of COVID-19 pandemic has decided to extend the date of applicability of PhD as a mandatory qualification for direct recruitment of assistant professors from July 1, 2021, to July 1, 2023,” UGC had said in an official notice.

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