With the amendment in ordinance six which lays down a procedure for Award of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree, the criteria for admission has changed drastically, the students are now required to score a minimum of 50% in the entrance test.
This amendment has made the weightage of the interview round significantly lower, and the repercussions are rather catastrophic with a massive decline in the number of students who are able to enrol themselves in for the courses. It’s a major blow to the first generation learners from SC, ST and OBC categories since the scrapping of the earlier criteria rules out the constitutional mandate of implementing reservation policy. The fact that UGC’s new norm provides no extra relaxation for the reserved categories is what hypes up the wave of protest because according to statistics general category students are also affected by the minimum marks required to pass the entrance test, if not equally. Is this a fight against UGC stepping over and violating a constitutional norm or a common fight of all the young learners from all the categories who have faced a major backlash due to the requirement of a minimum 50% marks in the entrance test? The celerity with which the changes were brought about is also unwarranted for all concerned. While the common qualifying criterion for all is a revolutionary step taken by UGC, students were in for a big surprise when the language of the question paper was just English and not English and Hindi. On the face of it, 50% rule makes it easy to blame the students for not being prepared enough but it overshadows the unprecedented changes in the question paper.
When all aspects of the issue are taken into account it becomes fairly clear that UGC has astounded the students with its hasty measures, the unpreparedness is not just a reason for the reserved category students to be angered but also for the general category students.
Written by - Muskan Banga