Yogesh Singh, Vice Chancellor of the University of Delhi (UU), says: “A PhD as an assistant professor is essential to the quality of teaching and learning. But when hiring teachers, two aspects are taken into account – the academic scholarship and the teaching ability. This does not mean that a doctorate is the only indicator of academic performance. A PhD is required at research universities, but a candidate with a UGC NET qualification can also work in colleges. At DU, for example, we have already advertised assistant professor positions in which qualified NET candidates might be as good as candidates for a Ph.D. Although UGC NET improved the overall quality of teachers in entry-level positions, there was a time when UGC NET did not exist and still good teachers were hired in the university system. ”
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Building the right talent pool
BJ Rao, vice chancellor of the University of Hyderabad, says a Ph.D. should be an important qualification for faculty members at PG and post-PG levels. “Relaxation can affect the quality of research and teaching. However, schools will always look for the best talent available, regardless of qualifications, ”adds Rao. He explains that Master’s degree holders with the UGC NET qualification are worthy enough to be considered for an assistant professor position, but in limited areas of educational pursuits. “It is important that worthy candidates are selected.”
The current loosening will, he said, expand the pool of applications, but the responsibility for building the right pool of talent will hinge on a sensible selection process. “India is a country with an abundance of talent, so a candidate cannot be judged by degree alone. Qualities such as academic excellence, proactivity, innovative thinking, persistence, mentoring, etc. also matter. ” According to Rao, a Ph.D. must be mandatory for career advancement, in addition to the minimum qualifications required by the UGC 2018 rules for associate professor and professor levels.
PhD is optional
According to Bhushan Patwardhan, Former Vice Chair of the University Grants Commission and National Research Professor Ayush, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences at Savitribai Fule Pune University, a Ph.D. as a prerequisite for an associate professor’s position may be desirable, but not required. “It is unlikely that the quality of teaching staff in HEIs will decline, and, in fact, this could improve the quality of teachers by attracting more people who are genuinely interested in the teaching profession. The requirement for a PhD to become a teacher has very weak logic. This prerequisite has led to despair for the doctorate, which in turn has led commercial stores to openly sell those degrees, ”he adds.
According to Patvardhan, a doctorate is essentially a research degree. This should only be done by those with research ability and seeking to pursue an academic research career. He adds that such doctoral holders can be made good teachers because teaching and research go hand in hand across multiple disciplines, especially at the PG level.
“Already many teachers may have entered universities with poor quality PhD degrees. It is our hope that the government will not simply abandon the doctorate as a precondition for the position of assistant professor without having a robust mechanism in place to ensure that faculty is selected based on predetermined criteria based on academic merit, scholarships, commitment, nationalism and honesty. ,” He says.