UGC Circular: PhD cannot be pursued through distance mode anymore

PhD degrees obtained through distance mode will no more be recognised  after the University Grants Commission (UGC) issued a circular stating the same. It says that only full-time and part time programmes will be treated as degrees.

It further mentions that PhD should be in regular mode in order to maintain standards in higher education,


In a meeting organised on February 22, the issue was raised and the following decision was announced:

”PhD degrees which are pursued either full time or part time will be treated as degrees awarded through regular mode, provided these are in conformity with the existing statutes/ byelaws/ ordinances etc. However, the PhD acquired under distance mode is not permitted.”

As per an HT report, UGC has now issued another circular asking colleges and universities to upload information on PhDs received by their staff/students, making special mention of the mode in which the degree was pursued. Colleges have been directed to share this information with the UGC at the earliest.

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Although most of the registered universities only offer full-time or part time PhD programmes, a few open universities like Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) as well as Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open Universities (YCMOU) offer the degree in distance learning mode.

The amended copy of the UGC Regulations on Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education, 2010, has been notified in the Gazette of India on July 11, 2016.

M A Khan, Registrar, MU said, ”We only allow full-time research students (with or without scholarship) or those who work on it part-time, but definitely never a distance program,” said M A Khan, registrar, MU”.

In a meeting organised on May 31, following Notice is Released:

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