UGC Chairman Allows Direct PhD Pursuit for 4-Year UG Students

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UGC Chairman Allows Direct PhD Pursuit for 4-Year UG Students

The Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) has passed a new policy favouring graduate students. As per the new policy, students who are pursuing a 4-year UG degree can directly appear for the National Eligibility Test (NET). That means they are not required anymore to get a Master’s degree to get eligible for NET. The policy was shared by UGC Chairman, Jagadesh Kumar on Sunday, 21 April 2024. In his released statement, Mr Kumar said that students with a 4-year undergraduate are now eligible for NET and carry forward to pursue a PhD without having a two-year Master’s degree. 

However, students who wish to pursue PhD with or without a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and with 4-year undergraduate degrees have to get a minimum of 75 aggregate marks or an equivalent grade. Before this policy, for the appearance in NET students need to have a master’s degree along with minimum marks of 55 per cent. Apart from it. The quota students will also get a relaxation of 5% or its equivalent grade. 

During a media interaction, Mr. Kumar told the media outlet that “The candidates with four-year undergraduate degrees can now directly pursue PhD and appear for NET. Such candidates are allowed to appear in a subject in which they want to pursue a PhD irrespective of the discipline in which they have obtained the four-year bachelor’s degree.” 

He further added that “The candidates having passed a four-year or eight-semester bachelor’s degree programme should have a minimum of 75 per cent marks in aggregate or its equivalent grade on a point scale wherever the grading system is followed.”

During the interaction, he also talked about the relaxation of 5 per cent to the quota students. He officially states that “A relaxation of five per cent marks or its equivalent grade may be allowed for those belonging to non-creamy layer-, Other Backward Classes (OBC), Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST)- differently abled, economically weaker sections and other categories of candidates as per the decision of the UGC from time to time.” 

What Is the UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) Exam?

It is one of the highly competitive examinations in India that is conducted by the National Testing Agency on behalf of UGC India. This examination is conducted two times a year- first in June and second time in December. This exam is conducted to determine the eligibility of Indian nationals for the “award of Junior Research Fellowship and appointment as assistant professor”. Those who clear this examination get an appointment on the profile of assistant professors in Indian universities and colleges. UGC-NET is also necessary to get admission to PhD. Before the new policy, the candidates were required to have a Master’s degree to get an appointment as an assistant professor. 

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Mr. Kumar said, “Beginning from the academic session 2024-2025, universities nationwide will have the opportunity to utilise NET scores for admissions to PhD programmes, replacing the need for separate entrance tests conducted by individual universities and higher education institutions (HEIs). This marks an important step in streamlining the admission process and enhancing accessibility for aspiring doctoral candidates.”

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