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New UGC notification puts teacher aspirants in a fix

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The Hindu | Special Correspondent |

Those who were awarded PhD before 2009 are at a disadvantage

The latest UGC notification amending its regulations prescribing minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers in universities and colleges has put teacher aspirants who were awarded a PhD degree prior to 2009 in a fix. The apex regulatory body for higher education in 2010 came up with the UGC on Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education Regulations.  It exempted candidates who were awarded a PhD degree in compliance with the provisions of its regulations of 2009, from passing the National Eligibility Test or State Eligibility Test (NET/SLET/SET) for appointment of Assistant Professor or equivalent positions in universities and colleges.

However, on May 4 this year, the UGC notified a third amendment to its 2010 Regulations. As per this, teacher-aspirant candidates who had registered for the award of PhD programme prior to 2009 shall be exempted from clearing the NET/SLET, subject to five conditions. “Two of these conditions are controversial. One, the UGC has said that the PhD degree-holders must have published two research papers out of which at least one in a refereed journal from out of his/her Ph D work. Two, the candidate must have presented two papers at seminars/conferences from out of his/her PhD work,” says Prof. C. R. Ravi, Principal, A.M. Jain College, Chennai, who has been championing the cause of the pre-2009 Ph D holders who do not have a NET certificate.

Putting the clock back

 “At the time when the candidates completed Ph D there was no such requirement to get their doctoral degrees. To insist on such candidates to fulfil these conditions retrospectively would amount to requiring such PhD holders to put the clock back,” he points out. According to him, if the amended UGC regulations are implemented, it would adversely affect such candidates from taking up jobs in a State university and government/aided college. “Even teachers working in government/aided colleges who vie for promotional posts like principals would face an uphill task as their earlier qualification of PhD would not conform to these regulations,” Mr. Ravi said, seeking a review of the amendment.

They have been exempted from taking the national eligibility test only if they meet five conditions  –  Courtey


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