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UGC made not mandatory publishing in journals before final PhD thesis

UGC made not mandatory publishing in journals before final PhD thesis

New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Monday made not mandatory the publishing of research papers in peer-reviewed journals before the final submission of a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis.

However a top official reportedly said the decision would not want Ph.D scholars stop publication of research papers in peer-reviewed journals

The decision might certainly set in motion discussions surrounding the quality of academic researches perhaps alongside probably easing candidates of their burden to place papers in journals and engage in conferences.

The Indian Express, which previously ran a series of investigative reports on academic-researches in India becoming a money spinner market for sub-standard research journals, reported the UGC's decision today.

As per the existing norms M.Phil (Master of Philosophy) scholars are required to submit at least one research paper in a conference or a seminar while PhD scholar in a refereed journal alongside presenting at conferences or seminars before submitting their thesis for adjudication, according to the report.

Chairperson of UGC Prof M Jagadesh Kumar reportedly said that regulator for higher education is convinced that the "one-size-fits-all" approach is not desirable.

Kumar, stressing on the need to stop assessing all disciplines through a common approach, added that many doctoral scholar in computer science would rather present papers at conferences than publishing in journals.

"Focusing on high-quality research will lead to publications in good journals, even if it is not mandatory. It will add value when they apply for employment or post-doctoral opportunities," he was quoted as saying.

Following the report by Indian Express on sub-standard journals "predating" on doctoral candidates, a four UGC committee chaired by former Director of the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru P Balram came against such publications.

The committee reportedly recommended that publishing research papers in "predatory" journals or presenting at conferences organized by their publishers should not be given academic credit.

Later in March this year, the UGC directed universities to draw up their own guidelines alongside seeking public feedback on replacing the term mandatory with "desirable".

The UGC eventually has done away with that cause altogether under the final UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedures for Award of PhD Degree) Regulations 2022 notified on Monday.

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