The University Grants Commission may allow part-time doctoral programmes for working professionals, according to officials. Provisions are being made for it in the UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of Ph.D. Degree) Regulations, 2022. As such, Indian universities might soon be able to offer a part-time PhD course.
On Monday, 4th July, the vice-chairperson of UGC, Professor M Jagdish Kumar, who is also an IIT Alumnus, mentioned that such programmes are quite common in the IITs. “In part-time PhD programmes,” says Kumar, “a University faculty member supervises a PhD student, who works on his or her subject in consultation with the supervisor, but largely independently.” Students enrolled in this course will have to attend at least six months of the course full-time.
The eligibility criteria for the part-time PhD programme will be the same as full-time PhD programmes, except that part-timers will not be eligible for PhD fellowships. Moreover, part-timers will have to produce an NOC issued by their employer which states that (1) employee is allowed to pursue studies on part-time basis, (2) the place of work offers facilities in the employee’s area of research, and (3) if required, the employee will be relieved from duty to complete coursework.