Ahead of the beginning of the new academic year, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a warning to the universities against offering Master of Philosophy (MPhil) courses. The UGC said that it doesn’t recognise the degree and also advised the students to not take admissions in these programmes.

Many universities have been found to invite applications for MPhil for the next academic session. Till now, MPhil was supposed to be one of the favourible options for postgraduate students if they want to pursue their career in academics.

“It has come to the notice of the UGC that a few universities are inviting fresh applications for the MPhil (Master of Philosophy) programme. In this regard, it is to bring to the notice that the MPhil degree is not a recognised degree.

“The Regulation No. 14 of the UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedures for Award of PhD Degree) Regulations, 2022 clearly states that higher educational institutions shall not offer any MPhil programme,” UGC Secretary Manish Joshi said.

For the last two or three academic sessions, many central and state universities have discontinued the MPhil programme. Issuing a stern warning for the varsities that are continuing the programme, the UGC has asked to fully discontinue the programme next academic year.

Why is MPhil programme being discontinued?

The prime reason behind the discontinuation of the advanced post-graduation research programme is the National Education Policy (NEP-2020). Without detailing the reasons, the NEP 2020 document directs the discontinuation of the MPhil programme. The document also elaborates on the changes being made to the graduation and post-graduation programmes.

“Higher education institutions will have the flexibility to offer different designs of master’s programmes: (a) there may be a two-year programme with the second year devoted entirely to research for those who have completed the two-year bachelor’s programme; (b) for students completing a four-year bachelor’s programme with research, there could be a one-year master’s programme; and (c) there may be an integrated five-year bachelor’s/master’s programme. Undertaking a PhD shall require either a master’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree with research. The MPhil programme shall be discontinued,” the NEP states.

Alternative to MPhil

The degree is classed as a Masters degree but it is close to a Doctorate. After the discontinuation of the programme, post-graduates can choose to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) to make their career in academia or research. 

 

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Published: 27 Dec 2023, 06:45 PM IST