UGC authorizes Universities to decide Authenticity of PhD Degrees for Selection of Assistant Professors

While the selection of Assistant Professors in Higher Education Department (HED) continues to linger on over issuance of Minimum Standard Procedures (MSP) certificates to P.hD degree holders, University Grants Commission (UGC) has authorized the concerned universities to decide over the authenticity of the P.hD degree awarded to the scholars.

In an officials communiqué to the University of Kashmir, Under Secretary UGC, Satish Kumar while referring to clause 20 of UGC Regulation 2009 states that, along with degrees the Degree Awarding University, Institution Deemed to be University, College and Institution of National Importance, as the case may be, besides issuing the degrees shall also issue provisional certification ‘certifying to the effect that the Degree has been awarded in accordance with the provisions to the Regulations of the UGC’.

“It is therefore to the University to ensure and decide that the P.hD awarded by them, are in accordance with the said UGC regulations 2009,” reads the official communiqué issued by the UGC.

The development comes after the Kashmir University (KU) took up the matter with the UGC regarding the issuance of MSP certificates to the P.hD scholars, who have obtained the degree from the varsity.

“The varsity had written to the UGC on February 6 regarding the MSP certificates after the selection process of Assistant Professors was caught in a degree row,” officials said.

UGC Regulations 2009 on Minimum Standards and Procedure for Awards of M.Phil/Ph.D

The UGC in its letter to Dean Academic Affairs KU, while referring to the clause 3.3.1 and 4.4.1 of UGC Regulations has stated that the candidates who are or have been awarded Ph.D degree in accordance with UGC, regulations 2009 shall be exempted from the requirement of NET/SET/SLET for recruitment and appointment of Assistant Professors or equivalent positions in Universities and other colleges and institutions.

Meanwhile, authorities in KU have convened a meeting regarding the issuance of MSP certificates and have decided to take up the matter with Public Service Commission (PSC) to continue the interview process and withhold the selection list till the Nigavekar committee report is made public.

“We convened a meeting regarding the issue of MSP certificates and it was decided that KU will request PSC to continue the interview process of aspirating candidates for the post of Assistant Professors but to withhold the selection process,” Dean Academic Affairs Kashmir University, Prof. M Ashraf Wani said.

Meanwhile sources said authorities in Jammu University have requested the PSC to withhold the interview process for Assistant Professor Post in HED. “The issue regarding the MSP certificates will be resolved after the Nigavekar committee report will be made public,” officials said.

Earlier at the time of the selection, PSC had asked the candidates to submit the certificate authenticating the date of registration under Ph.D programme and date of implementation of UGC (MSP) Regulation, 2009 by the concerned University from where such degree has been acquired.

How to identify fake, real, recognized and not recognized M.Phil and Ph.D degree in India

Earlier the candidates, who applied for the posts of Assistant Professors in HED on basis of having acquired Ph.D degrees, were informed to submit a certificate of having been awarded Ph.D degree in accordance with UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedures for awards of Ph.D Degree) Regulation, 2009 as laid down in the JK Higher Education Gazetted) Service Recruitment Rules, 2014.

In June 2009 UGC issued a notification that Post Graduation with NET and SET degree would be set as eligibility criteria for any recruitment in Higher Education Department (HED) excluding those having completed their Ph.D degrees as per the 2009 UGC regulations.

Later, in March 2015, Supreme Court ordered that all the recruitment in HED would be done in accordance with 2009 regulations. The SC had ordered that NET and SET would be the eligibility while as the candidates who completed Ph.D as per 2009 regulation would be exempted to have NET or SET.

Interestingly, in July 2015 Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) constituted a six member committee headed by former UGC Chairperson, Prof Arun Nigavekar to review the evaluation of P.hd –NET qualifications for entry of teachers and accordingly suggest a policy for selection. The committee was supposed to submit the report in two months however the report is reportedly to be made public very soon.

“We believe that the committee has taken a lenient view on the MSP issue. So once the whole controversy will end as soon as the report will be made public,” officials in KU said.

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