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Publication Requirements for PhD Scrapped

Getting a PhD is not an easy task. There are a lot of steps, criteria, admission processes, and evaluation procedures involved in getting the degree. One of the steps to qualify for a doctoral degree was to publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal. This rule has now been scrapped by India’s highest education regulator.

According to the University Grants Commission (UGC), PhD students were required to publish at least one article and present two papers at conferences or seminars before they submitted their research thesis. According to the latest regulations announced on November 7, 2022, the scholars will no longer be required to do this to get their degrees.

In the words of the UGC committee, “The withdrawal of the publishing requirement will mean a less challenging research environment for students and universities, as seen in the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), where there has been no such requirements for PhDs.”

This new rule is in line with the global standards. Publishing a paper before obtaining a doctorate degree is not mandatory in most countries. It is, however, considered essential from the viewpoint of a good researcher.

UGC Chairperson Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar believes that “Focusing on high-quality research will lead to publications in good journals even if it is not mandatory. It will add value when (graduates) apply for employment or post-doctoral opportunities.”

Before this rule was scrapped, India was found to be the largest user worldwide of predatory, or substandard journals. Around 88% of the journals approved by the UGC were dubious.

The committee believes that research should not be done just for the sake of a degree or to get a job, promotion, recognition, prestige, publications, or patents. Rather, it should be a quest for truth and to add to the existing body of knowledge.


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