Before the publication of UGC regulations regarding standards set for M. Phil and Ph. D. admissions, it was a herculean task for some whereas child’s play to few others to obtain a Ph. D. degree from an institution. Even there were rumors afloat around that few people write Ph. D. thesis on payment basis and students get their degrees submitting them to the institutions they have registered with. Matter was under consideration of the apex body and now the UGC has come out with new regulations to make criteria uniform throughout the country by setting some new standards for all the aspirants and institutions.
UGC through its regulation 2009 published in the “The Gazette of India” on July 11, 2009, has set the minimum standards for admission procedure, allocation of M. Phil and Ph. D. students to the supervisor and minimum number of students admitted to these programs etc. Now onwards, M. Phil and Ph. D. programs can not be conducted by any UGC affiliated institution through distance education mode. Universities/institution will decide the criteria for the faculty to act as an supervisor, predetermine the number of students to be admitted for admission to M. Phil and Ph. D. very year and conduct admission tests on regular basis.
These institutes/universities will have to publish the number of seats in the advertisements or on university websites. As per the new regulation, a supervisor can have only eight Ph. D. and five M. Phil. Students at any point of time. An entrance test followed by an interview has to be conducted at individual university/institution for admission to these courses. However, separate terms and conditions may be decided by the individual institutions for candidates who have qualified UGC/CSIR(JRF)/SLET/teacher fellowship/GATE or have passed entrance tests for M. Phil/Ph. D. In the interview, candidates may discuss their research interests.
The allocation of supervisor will be done in a formal manner by the department based on the research interests of student, specialization of the faculty and in no case will be left to the student or teacher to decide on their own choice. All the admitted students have to undergo the course work of minimum one semester duration related to methodology of research work or review of literature. However, the course work may be carried out either within the institution or outside of it.
Institutes may also decide the minimum qualifying requirements for doctoral students to proceed further before writing the dissertation. Each student has to make a presentation in the department before submission of the thesis and incorporate all the suggestions in consultation with supervisor. Each student has to publish one research paper in a referred journal befor submission of the thesis. Thesis so submitted will be evaluated by two examiners. Of these two experts, at least one shall be from outside the state.
Institute or university , if interested, may have one examiner from outside the country. Students have to defend their thesis openly after receiving satisfactory reports from the examiners. Once the degree is awarded, concerned institute shall submit a soft copy of the M. Phil/Ph. D. thesis to the UGC within thirty days of the award. UGC will make the thesis available to all institutions by hosting the same in inflibnet. These regulations will definitely be useful in bringing out uniformity across the institutions. However, few points in this regulation need to be critically examined.
As per this regulation, a supervisor can have 8 Ph. D. and 5 M. Phil students at a given point of time, this number is too big for a supervisor to guide 13 students at a time. It may be easy to work with 13 students if they belong to humanities but handling 13 science or technology students is not a simple task. If you look at this number from quality view point, it will be difficult for a supervisor to maintain quality. This point is definitely going to create havoc. In my opinion, 4-5 students are good enough if quality work is concerned.