Degrees granted for Doctor of Philosophy (Ph D) programs done through distance education will not be recognised, 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 regulations 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 PhD will be recognised,” states the circular dated March 17. The amended copy of the UGC Regulations on Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education, 2010, has been notified in the Gazette of India on July 11, 2016.
However, the commission had received several queries from colleges across the country on the exact definition of ‘regular mode’, to which the UGC has clearly stated that only those PhD pursued full time or part time will be recognised. Taking it a step further, another circular by UGC is now asking colleges and universities to upload on their respective 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 only 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.