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PhD Admission through UGC NET instead of NTA Entrance Test in this University

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Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has recently announced a significant shift in its admissions process for PhD courses. In alignment with the National Education Policy 2020 and following guidelines from the University Grants Commission (UGC), JNU has decided to utilize the scores of the National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by the UGC and CSIR for admissions to its PhD programs.

The decision to transition to UGC NET scores for PhD admissions stems from the aim to streamline the national entrance examination process for higher education institutions. Intending to provide greater clarity and accessibility to students, the UGC has advocated for a single national entrance examination. This move is seen as a step towards standardization and simplification of the admissions process.

PhD Admission with UGC NET

Under this new system, candidates with a four-year undergraduate degree now have the opportunity to pursue a PhD and appear for the NET exam directly. Previously, NET eligibility required candidates to hold a postgraduate degree with a minimum of 55 per cent marks. However, candidates with a four-year undergraduate degree must now meet a minimum requirement of 75 per cent marks or equivalent grade to pursue a PhD, with or without Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). This change opens up avenues for a broader range of candidates to engage in doctoral research, regardless of their undergraduate field of study.

The decision by JNU to adopt UGC NET scores for PhD admissions has sparked discussions and reactions from various quarters. The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) expressed concerns regarding the potential exclusion of students from the research sphere, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds. They argue that relying solely on NET scores could disadvantage certain groups of students and limit access to higher education opportunities.

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PhD Admissions Plan

In response to the concerns raised by JNUSU, the UGC has acknowledged the need for dialogue and consideration of diverse perspectives. While universities have the autonomy to conduct their own entrance examinations, the UGC is open to addressing the concerns stakeholders raise. JNUSU plans to engage in further discussions with university authorities to advocate for the continuation of the PhD entrance exam through the Jawaharlal Nehru University Entrance Examination (JNUEE).

To address concerns of inclusivity, the UGC has outlined provisions for relaxation in eligibility criteria for candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), OBC (Non-Creamy Layer), Divyang, Economically Weaker Section, and other specified categories. Relaxation of five per cent marks or its equivalent grade may be allowed for eligible candidates, ensuring that opportunities for higher education remain accessible to all deserving individuals.

The decision by JNU to transition to UGC NET scores for PhD admissions reflects a broader effort towards standardization and simplification of the admissions process in line with national educational policies. While stakeholders continue to engage in dialogue to address concerns and ensure inclusivity, the move can expand access to doctoral research opportunities for a wider pool of candidates.

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