No fresh enrolments through Panjab University’s PhD entrance test for now
With the scrapping of the entrance examination for PhD admissions this year, Panjab University will enrol only those candidates who have qualified the National Eligibility Test (NET) or the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF).
Besides, those applying through programmes like Rajiv Gandhi fellowship, Inspire fellowship, etc are also eligible for admissions.
Hundreds of students were otherwise enrolled for PhD every year through the PU entrance examination. Dean university instructions (DUI) professor RK Singla said, “NET/JRF qualified students are eligible for admissions to PhD and also those whose PU-PhD scores are still valid.”
The PU-PhD entrance test is valid for five years. According to a university official, PU has received over 3,000 applications for PhD admissions this year; in 2019, 1,800 applications were received.
The University Grants Commission’s (UGC) minimum standards and procedure for award of MPhil/PhD degrees says that all universities, and deemed to be universities, will admit MPhil/PhD students through an entrance test conducted at the level of an individual university or an institution deemed to be a university.
PU dean research VR Sinha said, “At present, the matter is at the discussion level and we will figure out how to give equal opportunities to every candidate.”
Research output to go down
As a result of this decision, the handful of PhD scholars at PU will have to bear the brunt of the varsity’s performance in various rankings as the research output will go down.
A PU senator, professor Rajat Sandhir, said, “Ultimately this will impact our rankings as we have always scored the maximum from research output.”
“The number of PhD enrolments in PU were already down since the UGC reduced the PhD slots for assistant and associate professors from eight each to four and six, respectively. The decision to scrap the test will impact students who will be passing out this year. Since the number of students appearing in the entrance test is anyway not too high, the university should consider holding the exam through online mode,” he added.
A senior PU official said that if the situation allowed and the departments demanded, the entrance test may be conducted whenever it was possible.