In a significant development,the Panjab University is planning to exempt from the PhD entrance test those who either have minimum 10 years of teaching experience on campus or affiliated colleges or have qualified for UGC-NET.
In 2009,the PU syndicate had announced that no admissions to PhD would,henceforth,be made till the time an individual has not written the entrance exam. This was done in accordance with the UGC norms which prescribe entrance exams as the mode of admission to PhD in any university.
However,at the last syndicate meeting,the management decided to look into the possibility of providing relaxation to its teachers and UGC-NET qualified candidates from the test.
A number of educationists from university and colleges have been requesting the authorities to exempt the regular teachers from the test. The entrance test rules also make it compulsory for the teachers to attend regular PhD classes for at least six months. A number of teachers,especially in Punjab colleges,face difficulties in leaving their own lectures and attend the classes here. Besides,their independence for conducting research gets hampered this way, said P S Gill,a PU syndic.
A committee is currently reviewing the UGCs recommendations and possibilities of relaxing the norms in order to frame new guidelines for PhD aspirants.
Over 1,000 candidates apply for PhD in various subjects in PU every year. Of these,very few candidates qualify for the test. At present,there are about 600 researchers pursuing their thesis in various departments.
The PhD entrance is currently being conducted in only one language English. A proposal was mooted last year for conducting the exam in two languages other than English,i.e. Hindi and Punjabi.
There were some objections from certain departments pertaining to formulating question papers in Hindi and Punjabi, said a PU official.