In a move that may come as relief for those seeking admission to its PhD programmes, the Panjab University changed the admission criterion for the courses on Wednesday.
While the university previously gave admissions only through entrance tests, it has now decided to exempt approved permanent teachers (regular teachers at government colleges) of PU and colleges affiliated it with a two-year experience from entrance tests to the programme.
Those having joined the university's MPhil course after taking admission on the basis of the joint entrance exam conducted by the university for its PhD/MPhil course would now be eligible for the PhD programme within two years of declaration of the results for the master's course.
The new guidelines, which come in the wake of the University Grants Commissions' recommendation GC recommendations for awarding MPhil/PhD degree regulation, 2009, would come into effect from this academic session.
Previously, only candidates who have qualified UGC-NET/CSIR (JRF) examination/SLET/ GATE/teacher fellowship holders/direct awardee of fellowship by DST (INSPIRE), ICMR or any other national agency were exempted from the entrance examination.
Making an exception, PU has decided to leave the decision of admitting a candidate who does not have a fellowship but has cleared the SLET/PhD entrance test to departments/ institutes such as engineering and science, citing the cost of laboratory work involved.
Cases of sponsored foreign students with valid research visa for PhD programmes under the ICCR or other academic exchange programme fellowships of various governments will also be decided by the academic committee of the department concerned, thus exempting them from the entrance test.
Faculties other than those arts, science, languages, education and design and fine arts, in which applications forms and other documents for pursuing PhD are not routed through the academic and administrative committees, research degree committee and joint research board/science research board, provisions prescribed under the regulations for the relevant bodies of the faculty concerned will apply.
The PU has also decided that candidates must complete their PhD course work before applying for approval of his/her candidature. The course work for one semester, which will be for 105 teaching hours, would comprise three papers.
Meanwhile, the varsity's practice of not allowing PhD programme through distance education would continue.