Students with 4-year undergraduate degrees can now directly appear for National Eligibility Test (NET) and pursue PhD, University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Jagadesh Kumar informed on Sunday. 

For pursuing PhD with or without a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), the students with 4-year undergraduate degrees need a minimum of 75 per cent aggregate marks or an equivalent grade.

Currently, a NET candidate requires a master’s degree with a minimum of 55 per cent marks.

“The candidates with four-year undergraduate degrees can now directly pursue PhD and appear for NET. Such candidates are allowed to appear in a subject in which they want to pursue a PhD irrespective of the discipline in which they have obtained the four-year bachelor’s degree,” the UGC Chairman told news agency PTI.

“The candidates having passed a four-year or eight-semester bachelor’s degree programme should have a minimum of 75% marks in aggregate or its equivalent grade on a point scale wherever the grading system is followed,” he added.

He further added that the quota students will likely get a relaxation of 5 per cent marks or its equivalent grade accordingly. 

“A relaxation of five per cent marks or its equivalent grade may be allowed for those belonging to non-creamy layer, – Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Other Backward Classes (OBC) – differently-abled, economically weaker sections and other categories of candidates as per the decision of the UGC from time to time,” he added.

The NET is conducted twice a year — June and December. Its scores are currently used to award Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and as eligibility for appointment as an assistant professor for those with a Master’s degree.

Earlier this year, the UGC announced that the NET scores will be used for PhD admissions from 2024-25 to eliminate the need for separate entrance tests.

“Starting from the academic session 2024-2025, universities nationwide will have the opportunity to utilise NET scores for admissions to PhD programmes, replacing the need for separate entrance tests conducted by individual universities and higher education institutions (HEIs). This marks an important step in streamlining the admission process and enhancing accessibility for aspiring doctoral candidates.”

“By leveraging the NET, which is conducted biannually, universities can offer greater flexibility to students, allowing them to utilise their scores from either session to apply for PhD programmes across various institutions,” Jagadesh Kumar had said.


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Published: 21 Apr 2024, 06:30 PM IST

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