Announcing amendments in the existing University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations, the Central government will require applicants for the post of assistant professors to possess a PhD. The regulation making PhD the minimum eligibility criterion for the post was supposed to be implemented by 2021, but had to be deferred due to the pandemic. The new criteria would be enforced in recruitment from July 1, 2023.
Till then, the existing procedure, with hiring being done on the basis of the marks secured by a candidate in the UGC’s NET exam will continue. Candidates who qualify NET, SET or SLET among other teacher-eligibility exams are also eligible to apply for the government position. With the new amendments, PhD applicants will be exempted from the examination criteria.
The amendment has been termed as the UGC (Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education), Amendment Regulation, 2021, as per an official statement issued by the UGC.
The UGC has received many representations earlier, seeking delay in the implementation of the policy, the argument against it being that it will have a negative impact on the NET-qualified candidates. The policy change was initially introduced in 2018 and the Commission had said that a three-year window will give candidates adequate time to complete their PhD, and hence, no disadvantage will be faced by candidates with immediate implementation.