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UGC Revises Criteria: NET, SET, SLET Minimum for Assistant Professor Recruitment, PhD Optional

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has reversed its decision regarding the compulsory requirement of a PhD for the recruitment of assistant professors. Instead, the minimum criteria for direct recruitment to these positions in universities and colleges will now be the National Eligibility Test (NET), State Eligibility Test (SET), and State Level Eligibility Test (SLET). The revised regulations were announced on June 30 and came into effect on July 1, 2023.

According to the new UGC notice, NET/SET/SLET will serve as the minimum requirement for the appointment of assistant professors in all Higher Education Institutions. This amendment aims to uphold and enhance educational standards in higher education by ensuring that candidates have cleared the necessary eligibility tests for the role.

Previously, in 2018, the then HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar mandated a PhD for assistant professor positions in universities and colleges. Candidates were given a three-year window to complete their PhDs, and universities and colleges were instructed to implement the criteria for recruitment starting from the 2021-22 academic session. However, in 2021, the UGC extended the applicability date of the PhD requirement to July 2023.

UGC Chairperson Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar revealed on Twitter that a PhD would no longer be mandatory for assistant professor appointments. The UGC stressed that the revised regulations aim to streamline recruitment and ensure that only qualified candidates are selected for assistant professor positions.

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