The University Grants Commission (UGC) has warned students that it does not recognise online PhD programmes offered by EdTech companies in collaboration with foreign educational institutions.
In a latest notice, the UGC reiterated that it is mandatory for all higher education institutions to follow UGC regulations and its amendments to award PhD degrees.
“In order to maintain the standards for awarding PhD degrees, the UGC has notified the UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of MPhil, PhD degrees) Regulation 2016,” the regulatory body said.
In March, the UGC proposed amendments to the existing guidelines for PhD programmes. According to UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of MPhil, PhD degrees) 2022, it proposed to fill 60% of the total seats of PhD by National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) or Junior Research Fellowship (JRF)-qualified students and the remaining 40% through the entrance test conducted by universities.
The UGC dual-degree guidelines issued on April 12 allowed students to pursue two full-time academic programmes simultaneously either at the same university or from different universities. However, the guidelines are applicable only to students pursuing academic programmes like undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma and certificate courses. PhD programmes do not fall under the guidelines, it informed the universities.
“Students and public at large are hereby advised not to be misled by the advertisements for online PhD programmes offered by EdTech companies in collaboration with foreign educational institutions. Such online PhD programmes are not recognised by the UGC. Aspiring students and the public at large, are requested to verify the authenticity of PhD programmes as per UGC Regulation 2016 before taking admission,” the AICTE, UGC said.