The University Grants Commission (UGC) in its notification said that publication of research papers in peer-reviewed journals may not be mandatory anymore for Ph.D. scholars. Notwithstanding, it will add value when Ph.D. Scholars apply for employment and post-doctoral opportunities. In new guidelines for Ph.D. scholars, which were notified on Monday, 7th November 2022, the apex regulatory body of higher education (UGC)had done away with the compulsory requirement of getting research papers published in peer-reviewed journals before the submission of final thesis for the award.
Prof. M. Jagadeesh Kumar , Chairperson of UGC has stated that in a statement that publication of research paper in peer-reviewed journals is not compulsory, albeit Ph.D. students should continue to publish their papers in the larger interest of the research and development. He further advised the scholars to continue the publication, though it is not a mandatory criteria for submission of the thesis.
- Focusing on high-quality research will lead to publications in good journals, even if it is not mandatory.
- It will add value when they apply for employment or post-doctoral opportunities.
- The statement further said that by scrapping the mandatory publication requirement, “ the UGC recognise that the one-size-fits-all approach is not desirable. For instance, doctoral scholars in computer science prefer presenting their papers at conferences rather than publishing them in journals.
The UGC prevailed upon the universities to ensure that the Ph.D. evaluation process is strengthened and research scholars are trained to publish in peer-reviewed journals, besides encouraging them to present at conferences, and apply for patents where feasible.
Part-time doctoral programmes
The new guidelines released by the UGC also allowed working professionals to pursue part-time doctoral programmes. In fact many professional have desire to pursue PhD using their practical experience, but they could accomplish the work due work constraints. The new guidelines is a great support to the professional to acquire high degree through research. For that purpose they have to obtain a no-objection certificate from their employers. Part-time doctoral programmes will benefit working professionals who cannot take long leave to complete their Ph.D.s. The notification clarifies that the eligibility criteria for full-time and part-time Ph.D. course remain the same. However the candidates for the part-time Ph.D. course would have to produce a “no-objection certificate” which shall state that the candidate is permitted to pursue studies on a part-time basis and if required he or she will be relieved from the duty to complete the course work.
The chairman has further clarified that such part-time programmes are already offered by IITs. The new regulations allow such Ph.D.s to be offered by every university established or incorporated under a Central Act, a Provincial Act, or a State Act, and every college and higher educational institution declared in the Official Gazette by the Central government. The other conditions to be fulfilled are as follows:
- The part-time Ph.D. students will have to complete at least six months of course work full-time in consultation with a supervisor.
- After completion of the course work, the candidates can carry out research work at research facilities in their own organization or in universities.
- The Higher Educational Institution concerned will need to have a mechanism using well-developed software applications to detect plagiarism in research work.
- The Ph.D. scholar has to submit an undertaking that there is no plagiarism and a certificate from the research supervisor attesting to the originality of the thesis.