A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs which is done through distance education will not be identified anymore, said the University Grants Commission (UGC) in a circular.
The circular said only full-time and part-time programs will be treated as degrees.
"The UGC set on minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers and other academic staff in universities has recently been updated and according to these changes, only regular mode Ph.D. will be recognized," states the circular dated March 17, 2017.
The amended copy of the UGC regulations on minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers and other academic staff in universities and colleges.Measures for the maintenance of standards in higher education, 2010, has been notified in the Gazette of India on July 11, 2016.
The commission had received several inquiries from colleges across the country on the exact definition of 'regular mode', to which the UGC has clearly stated that only those Ph.D. pursued full time or part time will be appreciated and the distance education for the Ph.D. degree is scraped out.
Taking it a step ahead, another circular released by UGC is now asking colleges and universities to upload on their own websites, information on Ph Ds received by their staff/students, making special mention of the mode in which the degree was pursued.
Colleges have also been asked to share this information with the UGC at the earliest.
While most registered universities offer full-time or part-time Ph.D. programs, certain open universities like Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) as well as Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open Universities (YCMOU) do offer the degree in distance learning mode.
"Most universities, including MU, do not offer Ph.D. in distance mode. We only allow full-time research students (with or without scholarship) or those who work on it part-time, but definitely never a distance program," said M A Khan, registrar, MU.