Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The higher education regulator has decided to push back implementation of the guidelines released three years ago, which proposed making PhD mandatory for fresh university teachers in the rank of assistant professors. 

The “Minimum qualifications for appointments of teachers in universities and colleges and measures for maintenance of standards in higher education” proposed by the University Grants Commission were set to be notified from the current academic session. But this has been deferred in the view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

UGC officials said that they have been receiving representations for several months against the implementation of the norms that said master’s degree, with National Eligibility Test, will not be the minimum eligibility requirement for direct recruitment to the posts of assistant professors in colleges.

As of now, for direct recruitment in universities, PhD is not mandatory and one can get recruited in several universities after a master’s degree and clearing the National Eligibility Test. 

“To improve the quality of teachers and education and to give a thrust on research culture, the proposed norms are crucial but there is an uncertainty on when we can notify them,” said an UGC official. “Considering the circumstances, it looks like we will have to defer it for a year or two though the matter is under discussion at the Commission,” he added.

The norms, prepared in consultation with the Union education ministry, said that to encourage the return of the best of brains who made a mark in foreign universities, a special provision for recruitment of assistant professors in various universities and colleges for PhD degree holders from a university or institution in the top 500 global ranking will be made.

Also, it proposed that teachers will also undergo a mandatory, month-long induction programme before starting work and devote two hours for mentoring of students for community development/extracurricular activities.

In the guidelines, the government had also done away with the controversial academic performance indicator based appraisal and introduced a simplified teacher evaluation grading system. It has added academic or research scores for universities to improve research output.