The human resource development ministry has set new rules for award of research degrees such as MPhil and PhD at Indian universities.

The HRD ministry has also relaxed several rules for women candidates, including allowing a 240-day maternity break from their studies.

The new rules are aimed at putting in place a “proper system” for doctoral studies and streamline their administration, duration and quality, said higher education secretary V.S. Oberoi. The rules are also intended to allow women greater flexibility in pursuing research.

In 2013-14, some 107,890 students were pursuing PhD in India. That was less than 0.4% of the total student enrollment in the country. Of the students pursuing a PhD, only around 3,335 were women.

Following are some of the key changes:

(1) MPhil duration: Minimum two consecutive semesters or one year, and a maximum of four consecutive semesters or two years.

(2) PhD duration: Minimum of three years, including course work, and a maximum of six years. Extension beyond the limit to be governed by statute or ordinance of the individual institution.

(3) Number of PhD scholars per supervisor now has been fixed at 8/6/4 for professor/associate professor/assistant professor, respectively. It was eight per supervisor earlier.


) Number of MPhil scholars per supervisor now at 3/2/1 for professor/associate professor/assistant professor, respectively. It was five per supervisor earlier.

(5) Only a full-time regular teacher of the concerned university/college can act as a supervisor. It means an external, visiting, adjunct or part-time teacher in a university cannot be the core supervisor of a research scholar. However, a co-supervisor can be allowed in inter-disciplinary areas.

(6) Special provisions have been provided for women scholars. For a female research candidate, the course duration has been relaxed by two years for PhD and one year for MPhil courses. It also applies to physically handicapped candidates with 40% disability.

(7) The new rules allow the women candidates maternity leave, or child-care leave, once during the entire duration of their MPhil/PhD programmes for up to 240 days.

(8) Women candidates can now also transfer research data due to relocation to new institutions. It means that if a woman candidate shifts her place of work or residence because of any personal or professional reasons, she can shift her research work from one university to another close to her where she is moving.


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  1. They want improve the women’s studies!!! but they cant think about indian’s job opportunities in india without corruption…

  2. How does these new regulations going to enhance the quality of research in vast majority of universities. If you are making changes to enhance the quality of research in our country. Make rules for instance. If one has to get a PhD he or she should publish at least one paper in Journals with High Impact factor as a mandatory thing.
    If such sort of rules are coming up the quality of research and contributions of our country in each field will definitely go high. It will enhance the quality of education and will ultimately result in global opportunities and scientific revolution in our country.

    The current amendments are not going to make any significant contributions in research and higher education sector.

  3. These rules are useless. Not going to help higher education. To criteria to obtain a Ph.D degree
    must be stringent. Exemption of NET/JRF for Ph.D holders is further going to dilute the higher education of India. Moreover, it will bring lots of corruption in Indian academia. For a quality education we have created a petition. I request you all to read and sign the petition. here is the link.

    • madam you are right but think about the people who have earned their primary education from govt schools, then such universities where standard teaching and research facilities are lacking. Exemption of Net for phd holders who are in 2009 regulation is a genuine thing because these norms were not aviliable before 2009.yes quality publication and thesis validation by experts and viva voce should be compulsory Any law should come in effect from that date only so they should be exempted.however for new students they are doing course work are exempeted from the net . Is course work or exam is critireia that a person will do quality research or good lab, sufficient chemicals and PI are required for the same…

  4. You are thinking only about women and women studies.why why why and why ???????

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