Getting a PhD degree in India was like a cakewalk. A Mungekar committee report citing malpractices in the process of getting a PhD, UGC has made entrance exams mandatory for PhD and MPhil aspirants. The entrance will be followed by an interview where aspirants will discuss their research area. After admission to PhD, students will have to do course work as part of pre-research preparation for at least a semester, where universities will fix the minimum qualifying criteria for further stage of writing the dissertation.

The Mungekar Committee Report found that students with the poorest percentage can get enrolled and acquire a doctorate degree in 3-5 years due to not following the entrance exam for the doctorate aspirants. There were instances where research guides wrote theses for students and even stage-managed experts during viva-voce.

The new norms will ensure that before submission of theses, students make a pre-MPhil/PhD presentation in the department for feedback. It will also be mandatory for them to publish one research paper in a refereed journal. The thesis will be evaluated by two experts, including one outside the state, followed by a viva-voce examination. UGC has exempted PhD holders who do their doctoral programmes under the new norms from clearing the National Eligibility Test (NET) for lectureship.

To check plagiarism, researchers will have to submit theses on a CD so that the content can be checked for duplication and cheating before handing out degrees. The UGC also suggested to the degree awarding institutions for preparing database of research work and digitising them. Link to the source.