UGC rules out 100% weightage for oral interviews in PhD, MPhil, brings in written tests

The University Grants Commission (UGC) scrapped the old selection system and gave 30% weightage for written tests for M.Phil and PhD aspirants. It changed the existing pattern of interviews which was 100% oral test and viva voce as a sole category for admission to Ph.D and M.Phil programmes. Candidate would have to perform for 70% written and 30% oral tests in order to be qualified for final selection.

The Commission has also allowed a relaxation of 5 percent points in the minimum marks to be scored in the written test by SC, ST and OBC candidates. The candidates from general category will now have to secure at least 50 per cent in the entrance examination to qualify for the interview or viva voce. And a reserved category candidate will have to score 45 per cent.

Meanwhile, UGC also granted regulations for online courses by universities which would allow institutions to offer graduate, postgraduate and diploma programmes online. However only institutions which have existed at least for 5 years will be able to offer online courses and are accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, with a minimum score of 3.26 on a four-point scale to maintain quality.

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted, “In a landmark reform in the field of higher education, University Grants Commission has approved the UGC (Online Courses) Regulations. There was no such regulations earlier”. He added, “Today’s decision will help top rated institutions to offer certificate, diploma & degree programmes in full-fledged online mode in only those disciplines in which it has already been offering the same or similar programmes or courses at graduation level in regular mode.”

In addition to this, according to the notification, a professor can not supervise more than three M.Phil and eight Ph.D scholars at any one time. Similarly, an associate professor can supervise a maximum of two M.Phil and six Ph.D scholars, and an assistant professor not more than one M.Phil and four Ph.D scholars.