University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed universities to engage only regular varsity professors to guide PhD scholars, the move has put the Universities in tough time as research scholars in universities are already facing a shortage of PhD guides.
The apex higher education body has sent a letter to the universities, directing them not to engage retired teachers of universities and postgraduate colleges, visiting and guest faculty members for supervising MPhil and PhD scholars.
“It has come to the notice of the UGC that some universities are hiring services of supervisors who do not happen to be regular faculty members of the university or its affiliated postgraduate colleges. In case of any violation of the prescribed rules by the university, action against the university will be taken as per the UGC Act, 1956 and the name of the university will be put in the defaulters list on the UGC website” said a top official of UGC.
The practice violates UGC’s Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of MPhil/PhD Regulations, issued in 2009. UGC has further clarified that the universities also cannot utilize the services of adjunct faculty members as supervisors.
“The universities shall allocate the supervisor from amongst the regular faculty members in a department or its affiliated PG colleges/institutes, depending on the number of students per faculty member, the available specialization among the faculty supervisors and the research interests of the students,” the letter further stated.
The directive has put the universities in awkward position as many retired teachers are guiding PhD candidates. Research scholars in universities are already facing a shortage of PhD guides. UGC’s 2009 guidelines say that only UGC-NET qualified candidates or those who have done PhD under the 2009 guidelines will be eligible for the post of assistant professors.
Regular faculty members of universities were already opposing the practice as they argued that a retired person, who has no accountability towards the university, cannot do justice and the regular faculty is talented enough to guide PhD and MPhil scholars.
Under the new norms, only those who have done PhD after clearing the PhD entrance test, along with six-month long course work and subsequent research work are eligible for recruitment as assistant professors.
While on the UGC further clarified that, “The University should add more teachers from PG colleges on its list to guide PhD scholars.”