Removal of PhD as Assistant Professor Recruitment Order will increase talent pool – Times of India

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced that PhD is not mandatory for the recruitment of candidates for the post of Assistant Professor in the departments of the University. This amendment is valid from July 1, 2021 to July 1, 2023

The announcement coincides with the central government’s directive to centrally funded institutions of higher learning (HEIs) to fill vacancies on a war footing. According to official data, 46 central universities in India have more than 6,000 vacant faculty posts. Delhi University (DU) has the highest number of vacancies, with 846 out of 1,706 vacancies still open.


The reason behind the crisis


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Tapti Mukherjee, president of the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organization, said, “The government stopped a structured recruitment process for all positions of academics in universities a few years ago. Since then, a talented pool of academics has been waiting to be part of a futile system. ”


PhD is essential

Keshab Bhattacharya, president of the All India Federation of University and College Teachers Organization (AIFUCTO), says there are many qualities to make a good teacher. “For a person in academia as a student or teacher, a PhD is essential because it expands our knowledge base and continues the learning loop seamlessly,” he said.

When it comes to hiring professors, academic excellence is a priority, but accommodation needs to be provided for non-PhD holders as well. “Experience suggests that young academic professionals, who do not have a PhD, contribute a lot to the teaching and learning process. In addition, they adapt very well to their surroundings,” Bhattacharya added.

Yogesh Singh, Vice-Chancellor, DU, said that the only criterion for appointing a professor should not be a PhD. “Our candidates need to be judged on a variety of qualities, including their teaching ability and the excellence of educators,” he says.


The number of applicants will increase

Singh said the UGC has introduced amendments to help universities fill vacancies. “Now that the PhD is not a barrier for many optimists, a larger group will have the opportunity to apply for teaching at a centrally funded HEI,” he said.

Bhattacharya says there are some cases where it may take time to get a PhD. “Since it affects the eligibility to apply for a post in the academic world, we can lose bright and great candidates because they may decide to move to another field or even another country,” he says. This amendment will help us retain our talent, he said.


Mukherjee added that there are a few issues where it is difficult to get a PhD for various reasons, which can result in even great candidates being dropped from the talent pool. “The recruitment process is our main concern and needs to be an ongoing process. The professors who have been hired can also get a PhD after joining HEI, ”he says.

Recruitment may be affected

“As the talent pool grows, universities will have more options. However, it remains to be seen whether this will lead to a change in the current faculty crisis, ”Singh said.


Presenting a different view, Bhattacharya said that as the talent pool grows, the responsibility of filling the vacant teaching positions will fall on the HEIs. “I believe it will make a difference for the betterment of universities across the country,” he said.

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