PhD Policy may see a change in India – PhD degree without any paper

As per the article published in the nature journal, there may be some changes expected in the near future that will allow a Ph.D. student to get the degree without publishing a research article.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) may rule out the requirement of publishing a research article and papers at conferences or seminar for getting the Ph.D. degree. Padmanabhan Balaram, who chaired of the UGC committee to examine the requirement of Ph.D. degree has recommended removing the requirement of publishing a research paper. The step was taken so as to reduce the publication in poor quality journals that allows quick publication in exchange for high processing fees. Instead, the committee has recommended assessing Ph.D. candidates by conducting an examination during the Ph.D. and to defend their thesis in an oral exam.

One of the main reason that fuels the vast ecosystem of the existence of a predatory journal is the requirement of a paper for submitting the Ph.D. thesis. This has also lead to growth of poor peer-review processes, ghost reviewers and commission agents. However, removing the paper requirement may also bring down the quality of Ph.D. work and a tailored review committee can pass a dubious thesis and award the degree.

A research article may face rejection from one journal and submitting to another journal and publishing it can take over a year. This may help some student to finish up their Ph.D. who were waiting for years to publish a research article. This came after the news last month when UGC announced that they plan to start a review process to check the quality of Ph.D. theses in Central, State and private Indian universities over the last ten years.

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