With part-time PhD, UGC plans to help working professionals

The UGC initiative of a part-time PhD programme could help several working professionals who want to pursue research, but are unable to do so due to paucity of time. This option helps the professional to attend offline classes for six months and carry out their research work under the supervision of an expert.

The draft UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of PhD Degree) Regulations, 2022 was notified in March and will include the provision of part-time PhD. The eligibility and work assessment will be the same as that for the regular PhD. The applicant can apply only after getting a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their employer. The provision of a part-time PhD is a common phenomenon in the IIT ecosystem.

Speaking to
Education Times, Rajnish Jain, secretary, UGC, says, “Several professionals are working in academia as well as in the corporate world with interest in research or higher education, but are unable to do so due to paucity of time. This provision will help such professionals, who will have to meet the eligibility conditions. The candidates will be required to earn the credits depending upon the course opted for.”

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“After completing the course requirements, the candidates will have to finish the work under the guidance of a supervisor,” informs Jain.

“The professionals would need to attain the required coursework in a face-to-face manner with the concerned institution where they are enrolled for PhD. For instance, if a working professional is enrolled in DU, then they would be required to attend the classes in a physical mode for six months after which they can continue their research work,” says Jain.

“Professionals can opt for work from home option which has become a norm these days. This will allow them time to fulfil their organisational commitments too,” adds Jain.

Pankaj Mittal, secretary-general, Association of Indian Universities (AIU), says, “This decision will help working professionals, who will not have to quit their jobs. Each supervisor would have at-least eight students under him or her. Several corporate professionals may pursue PhD, which will give them a chance to work in academia post their retirement.”

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