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UGC Nails Strict Rules On Awarding M.Phil and PhD Degree

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UGC's Rules On M.Phil and PhD Awards
UGC wants to standardize the process of awarding M.Phil and PhD's and bring a quality based improvement in the research output. In order to shape it, UGC has made several rules and ways to crack down on Universities that award degrees in a reckless manner.

All Universities including central, state, private varsities and deemed-to-be-universities, have been asked to submit information regarding the number of PhDs and M.Phils given and the manner in which they are awarded. All universities are expected to follow the recommendations of the UGC (Minimum standards for the award of M.Phil and PhD degree regulation,2009)

UGC chairman Ved Prakash in a letter to vice-chancellors of over 430 universities said,"The UGC has decided to elicit information from the universities or institutions to understand their pursuit of research vis-a-vis the impact in generating new knowledge and applications of its outcomes. The data so collected will be analysed and made useful for the promotion of research besides applying mid-course corrections, wherever required." Universities have been given four weeks to respond to questions on whether research scholars are allowed to take up actual research work after successful completion of the course work and whether the institution has made it mandatory to publish one research paper in a refereed journal before submission of thesis.

Reports have also surfaced that some universities have not insisted on evaluation of thesis by experts from outside the state or country, citing lack of experts in the area.

Senior academic and Tamil Nadu State Academic Audit and Accreditation Council chairman S P Thiagarajan said the inadequacy of research collaboration and literature that made institutions come up with such excuses. "Now, we find students being able to get enormous support from even foreign researchers just by emailing them. So, it is unscientific to say that the university cannot find an expert."

Though the regulations have been around for the last couple of years, academics say, enforcement has been left to the universities, some of which had revised the regulations to suit their convenience. Some universities have done away with the mandatory publishing of research paper in a refereed journal, and there have been reports of PhD holders with publications in in-house journals.

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