According to the recent order passed by the Supreme Court of India, candidates with Ph.D degree before 2009 does not seem to have left any option but to quit their jobs. The apex court upheld the UGC guidelines of 2009 stating the essential qualification. As per the rules, candidates need to qualify the National Eligibility Test (NET) or State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) to become an assistant professor in any of the colleges or universities across India. Hence, candidates having Ph.D prior to 2009 will not be considered eligible for the post of lectureship.
National Eligibility Test (NET) is conducted by UGC every year in order to examine the eligibility of a candidate to pursue junior research fellowship in any of the government sponsored university. Qualifying NET, a candidate also becomes eligible to teach as assistant professor in any of the colleges. According to UGC regulations, NET is mandatory for every candidate to pursue Ph.D course in their respective fields.
Criticism of the Judgement passed by Supreme Court
The order passed by Supreme Court of India on March 16 faced a huge criticism by majority of scholars across nation. The decision made by SC has left many assistant professors who received their Ph.D degree before 2009, agitated. The threat to lose their jobs has led many to revolt against the judgment passed by the apex court.
Thousands of college teachers have decided to gather in front of UGC office at Delhi on Monday to protest against UGC guidelines 2009. However many are demanding relaxation as UGC has always laid down exemption in past. UGC’s first relaxation was implemented in the year 1992, which allowed the scholars to enter teaching profession without NET or SLET. This relaxation was extended in year 2002 till 2006.
However, as per 2009 guidelines, UGC made it compulsory for Ph.D holders to have qualified NET/SLET to become assistant professor. The Supreme Court during the judgment said that “It is important to maintain the standard of higher education in our society and hence following eligibility conditions have been laid down.”
According to many officials, though many exemption had been given in past but it is the responsibility of UGC to maintain such standards. The following sets of regulations have attracted criticism from many of the universities in India.
UGC, however, have set up a committee to review their own set of regulations as passed on 2009. And as per last year’s amendment, it excludes those who have their Ph.D before 2009. But the revised norms are yet to be approved by the HRD Ministry. Supreme Court also mentioned that the policy, which will be taken by HRD ministry and UGC, will be followed.