Higher Ed Development – UGC allows students with Research bent minds to pursue PhD after 4 Year UG Course
As India is laying the stones toward becoming Vishwa Guru, the research aspect is an essential cog in the way where it provides an opportunity to measure the output drawn out of the National Education Policy 2020 implementation in the country in the medium to long term. University Grants Commission (UGC) being the apex body in India for the coordination, determination, and maintenance of standards of university education in India plays an important role in nurturing the culture of research in higher education. Students at the university and doctoral level are at the base of a research environment where academia connects with Industry, Government, and other stakeholders. UGC to foster a research ecosystem in university education is coming out with various policy changes and the recent announcement around PhD entry for degree students is enticing.
A Master’s degree is not mandatory for a PhD; Conditions Apply
As per the news report by the Times of India and the same report shared by the chairman of UGC in his official LinkedIn post, students with the minimum CGPA score of 7.5/10 in the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) will now be eligible for PhD admissions without having to complete a master’s programme, according to the new regulations on the award of PhD degree finalised by the UGC.
To discourage the trend of publishing in predatory journals, the new regulations by the UGC recommend either partnering or publishing in peer-reviewed or refereed journals only. The University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of PhD Degree) Regulations 2022 are likely to be announced by end of June and set to come into effect from the forthcoming 2022-23 academic session.
“Encouraging four-year undergraduate students with a research bent of mind to do PhD is important to improve the research ecosystem in our HEIs. That is why we are permitting four-year UG students who have a CGPA of 7.5/10 or above to be eligible for PhD admission. Those who have a CGPA of less than 7.5, will have to do a one-year master’s degree to be eligible,” said UGC Chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar.
The NEP 2020 and Impetus for Research
NEP emphasises a multidisciplinary approach to education and the need to nurture a curious and creative mind with a view to developing analytical and critical thinking abilities at an early age. These are the skills essential for framing the right research questions and for bringing about the required and relevant outcomes/solutions. This approach will, therefore, be instrumental in giving a meaningful thrust to research and innovation serving yet another significant harbinger in the long-term and sustainable research endeavour for India.
National Research Foundation (NRF) proposed at the NEP 2020 aims at providing the required impetus to grow the R&D agenda by way of building a research ecosystem comprising the government, universities, research institutes and industry.
The collaboration between academia and industry envisioned by the NEP calls for a patent policy structure at the university level to facilitate more patent applications. Such a policy will safeguard the interests of all the entities involved, provide for a research environment, and ensure compliance with the national laws and regulations. A larger number of patients with commercial benefits will serve as incentives for continuous and sustained efforts in research.
By looking at the recent and regular announcements by UGC, one can hope for a transformed higher education system that emphasises research in higher education and at the same time give importance to all other aspects aimed by the NEP 2020.
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