Pranav Gupta

Pranav Gupta Ashoka University Co-Founder – New UGC guidelines are all about quality over quantity in PhD

There is a plethora of talent in the academic environment of India. Due to the tremendous competition in the admissions process and fewer seats, a sizable pool of bright candidates is turned away from the best colleges, especially in the case of Ph.D. The full academic degree one may pursue is the doctoral research degree i.e. Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy). “A program like Ph.D. is a lengthy commitment that calls for perseverance and effort. People with the aptitude, zeal, and concentration usually opt for Ph.D. in a particular study area. But many outstanding individuals are prevented from reaching the summit of their true potential due to certain restrictions in higher education,” asserts Pranav Gupta, Ashoka University Founder.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has established a new four-year undergraduate program and flexible Ph.D. regulations that will allow students to enroll in Ph.D. after completing their four-year bachelor’s programs. Students who have successfully completed a four-year degree in any field with at least 75% or its corresponding grade are qualified for it. Those who do not, must enroll in and pass a one-year master’s program with a minimum of 55%. The UGC believes that it can help improve the quality standard instead of focusing on quantity. The motivated students among them will be able to excel as remarkable scholars and educators if they get the chance to join a doctoral program directly.

NEP 2020 specifies that the four-year bachelor’s program provides either a degree with a final year of research or a degree with an emphasis on coursework. The students can earn research experience by getting employed in a similar field after completing a four-year UG program. These students ought to start Ph.D. programs without getting a master’s degree thereby saving valuable time and energy. Alternatively, they might receive research methodology training at the beginning of their Ph.D. program to hone their skills.

“With UGC’s new rules, the university system just developed a four-year bachelor’s degree program that aims to provide students the resources they need to attain research skills and effectively resolve problems. Intensive expertise in a specified discipline or interdisciplinary area of study will go along with it. If India is to become a worldwide powerhouse in research and innovation, it must encourage its best students to enter the fields early, after receiving their UG degrees which is when their levels of ingenuity are at peak,” shares Pranav Gupta Ashoka University Founder.


Ashoka University’s Ph.D. program is based on fundamental knowledge, scholarly inquiry, and practical experience with real-world problems. Researchers focus on intellectual activities with a strong dedication to resolving difficult issues that have an influence on society in the future. The university is a structure that believes that students should be given opportunities depending on their interests. The innovative liberal arts and sciences institution aim to provide individuals with various specialties and areas of interest on one platform. Interdisciplinary research, partnerships with industry, and integrated teaching and research are the three main components of Ashoka’s Ph.D. program.

According to the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) recent report, between 2015–16 and 2019–20, the number of students enrolled in Ph.D. increased from 1,26,451 to 2,02,550. The UGC is focused on improving the entire research structure and focusing on high-quality standards rather than numbers. With the new policies, UGC is trying to bring about a major alteration in the higher education system of India. They are of the opinion that a uniform ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is undesirable to evaluate all fields and decided to eliminate the mandate that research articles be published in peer-reviewed journals prior to the final submission of a Ph.D. thesis. However, there is still a worry these guidelines can hurt in some aspects as the students won’t have any research experience and may struggle in their initial years.

“In our nation, there is a lack of focus on research for students in the bachelor’s and master’s programs. Since students will have to invest their initial years of Ph.D. attempting to understand the procedure, all levels of the curriculum need to be altered to assist them. There are more fake journals now than ever before and students often pay to be published. This change in policy will prevent the publication of subpar research articles. Concentrating on high-quality research will result in articles being published in reputable journals,” adds Pranav Gupta. “Many measures have been added to the most recent UGC regulations in an effort to raise the standard of student research and the assistance that advisors give to them. It all depends now on proper implementation and readjusting the curriculum to focus towards proper knowledge-based and research-oriented structure.”

Source- Youreducationportal

Pranav Gupta

Pranav Gupta is a prominent name in the country’s educational community due to his notable contributions to higher education.

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