If a university or higher educational institution does not figure among the top 50 in the national ranking or has a poor NAAC grading, admissions in PhD courses offered by it may get tougher as UGC has proposed making NET mandatory for the same.
According to the new draft regulations by University Grants Commission (UGC), institutions which come under "Category III", would enroll only those candidates who have qualified the NET or SLET or SET examinations for their PhD courses only.
As per the draft rules, a "Category I" university will be that which has been accredited by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with score of 3.5 or above or if it has achieved a ranking in the top 50 institutions of the government's National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for two years continuously.
A varsity will be put under "Category II" if it has been accredited by NAAC with a score between 3.01 and 3.49 or if it has achieved a ranking from 51 to 100 in the NIRF ranking for two years continuously.
All varsities which do not fall under Category I and II, will find place in the Category III.
"An institution which is under Category III, only those candidates would be eligible for enrolling to a PhD course who have qualified the NET/SLET/SET examinations," the draft reads.
The National Eligibility Test (NET) is an examination to determine eligibility for college and university-level lectureship and for award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) while States Eligibility Test (SET) is a state-level test accredited by UGC for eligibility of assistant professors.
The UGC has sought feedback from all stakeholders to the proposed regulations by end of this month.
Linking autonomy with ranking, norms on hiring foreign faculty and opening new campuses are among the key regulations highlighted in the draft.