On recommendation of panel headed by former UGC Chairman Arun Nigavekar, the government is all set to make some adjustments in the present rules for PhD candidates to get teaching jobs in various universities and colleges. Through the new recommendations the PhD students will be eligible for the post of Assistant Professor if they go through an open viva-voce round and in assessed by an external examiner along with two publications in his name, which includes the peer-reviewed journal during their PhD year.
Presently, as per the UGC rules, the new aspirants who want to get into teaching jobs at various universities and colleges, have to clear the national or state level eligibility tests, known better as NET or SLET or should be enrolled for PhD through entrance test and should have done course work before writing the thesis.
The panel also held discussions with many faculty members in the country and came to conclusion that it was unfair to implement the PhD norms retrospectively in order to make it equivalent to NET, which is the national qualifying exam to become an assistant professor presently. However, the panel accepted that certain norms prevalent presently couldn’t get ignored while treating PhDs who had not appeared for NET. The PhD candidates must have to appear for an open viva-voce round along with assessment of thesis by two external examiners. The students will need to have at least two published papers as well, in order to apply for the assistant professor posts.
According to the President of All India Federation of University and College Teachers Organization, Professor Keshab Bhattarcharya said, “Eighty percent of degree holders will be eligible for teaching jobs if the government gives conditional equivalence to NET-SLET.” He further said that most of universities have been following the three norms while granting PhDs to the aspiring candidates for over a decade now.
Talking about the Academic Performance Indicator (API) scheme, prevalent in the universities and colleges to promote teachers through a point system, the panel also suggested their recommendations. In the present context the teachers earn points from teaching and research & extension activities, which in turn help them in their promotion. The panel suggested that the first promotion, from assistant professor to that of associate professor, should give more prominence to teaching rather than research and associate activities. They further said that the next promotion, from associate professor to that of professor, the priority should be given to research activities over teaching.