MumbaiResearch scholars pursuing PhD at the University of Mumbai (MU) will now have to finish their work within ten years. Earlier, there was no limit on the duration to complete the MPhil and PhD courses. This is the first time, the varsity has put a limit on the duration of MPhil and PhD programmes. While the maximum duration for PhD has been fixed at six years, the candidates can avail an extension of four years. Similarly, scholars pursuing MPhil will now get a maximum of two years, with a three-year extension to complete the programme. Women and physically challenged scholars will be given an additional extension of a year for MPhil and two years for PhD. The minimum duration to complete PhD has been increased from two years to three years. The decision was announced through a vice-chancellor directive (VCD) issued on Friday. The directive puts in place a new set of rules for eligibility, admission, structure and evaluation of the research programmes. Most of the rules have been derived from University Grants Commission's (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of MPhil and PhD Degree) Regulations, 2016 and Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016. The decision to put a limit has been welcomed by the teachers, who feel that often students take unreasonably long time to finish their research. Read more: UGC approves online courses, grants autonomy to 9 deemed universities“Though this is a good decision, I do feel that ten years is still a long period. One can finish the programme in four years, if constant efforts are put,” said Mrudul Nile, an associate professor at MU. Students will also have to take the PhD/MPhil entrance test (PET) online. The varsity has changed it to a multiple choice question (MCQ)-based test and has divided it in two 50-mark papers. Paper I will be about research methodology and other related subjects, while paper II will be related to subjects specific to candidates. Earlier, PET consisted of only one 100-mark paper, with objective questions and long and short-answer questions. The scholars will now have to submit a progress report of the research work to a Research Advisory Committee (RAC). Each candidate will be supervised by an RAC, consisting of head of the scholar's department, a research guide and one or two experts. For the viva voce, research scholars will have to field questions regarding their thesis in an open forum.