Delhi University | Photo by Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
Delhi University | Photo by Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
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New Delhi: The central government has temporarily put on hold the mandatory PhD requirement for the post of assistant professor, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. Candidates who have qualified the National Eligibility Test (NET) will continue to be eligible to apply for the post.

In 2018, the government had announced that all recruitment in universities and colleges from 2021-22 academic session will be done on the basis of PhD and NET will not be the sole criterion for selection.

During an interaction with a group of journalists Wednesday, the education minister informed that the plan has been put on hold for this year, and candidates, irrespective of whether they have a PhD or not, can apply for the assistant professor’s position.

An assistant professor’s post is an entry-level position at a university’s teaching department and most of the people who apply for it are post-graduates, NET qualified people who are either pursuing PhD or take a break later in their career and enrol for it.

“We were receiving a lot of requests from candidates who wanted to apply for the post of assistant professor but were unable to fulfill their PhD requirement,” Pradhan said.

This rule was being implemented as part of the University Grants Commission (UGC)’s policy — ‘Minimum qualifications for appointments of teachers in universities and colleges and measures for maintenance of standards in higher education’.

When it was first proposed in the year 2018, candidates were given three years to complete the PhD requirement. The plan has, however, been put on hold again.

In 2018, when the then education minister announced mandatory PhD requirement for assistant professors, he said that this was being done to “improve the quality of higher education and to attract and retain the best talent in the country”.

Also read: Engineering, management students under AICTE to be tested for learning levels, employability

Need to fill vacancies

The minister further informed that waiving off the PhD requirement is in line with filling up vacant posts across central universities faster. In an interaction with heads of all the central universities last month, Pradhan had asked them to complete the recruitment process by October this year.

In April, he had informed the Parliament that more than 40 per cent teaching positions across 44 central universities were vacant as of 1 April.

“A large number of teaching posts are vacant across central universities and I have given them the task to fill up positions as fast as possible. I have been following up with the university heads regularly and many of them have even taken out advertisements,” Pradhan said.

“They have been asked to finish the task of releasing advertisements by October end and from there they can continue the process of interview and recruitment,” he added.

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)

Also read: With 131 new institutions in 4 years, it’s boom time for private universities in India


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