MHRD Turns Down IIM Proposal to Grant Doctoral Degrees in Less Than 3 Yrs

New Delhi, October 28: The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has turned down a proposal which requested a two year time-frame for a PhD program at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). The Ministry wrote to the directors of all IIMs on October 23rd in this regard citing the regulations of University Grants Commission (UGC). As per the UGC, the minimum time frame to complete a PhD program is three years. Therefore no institution cannot be allowed to have PhD program which allows completion before the stipulated time frame.

The IIMs have been permitted by the government to allow direct entry to candidates with a four year bachelor’s degree, although the minimum time frame for such students to complete their doctorates would be four years.

MHRD says 4 years in doctoral course necessary for those with 4-Year Bachelor degree 

Four of the IIMs- IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Indore and IIM Vishakhapatnam- had written to the Ministry proposing that candidates with a four years bachelor degrees (with an eight point Cumulative Grade Point Average) or holders of professional qualifications such as CA, CS, ICWA or ICAI be given direct entry to doctoral courses (PhD/D. Phil). These candidates would be taken along with the students having postgraduate degrees or diplomas. The Ministry accepted the proposal to allow the former set of candidates to be given direct entry to doctoral courses.

However, citing the regulation wherein the minimum PhD time frame is of three years for candidates with a Masters degree, the Ministry said that candidates with four year bachelor degrees must be required to complete at least four years in a doctoral course in order to get a degree.

Decision after deliberations with UGC and AICTE

The Ministry had deliberated on the proposal with the UGC as well as All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) before taking a decision. The final decision was made after taking into consideration the format followed by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). All IITs adhere to UGC’s regulations for doctoral programs. It was felt that there should be parity among all major institutes of national importance regarding the criteria to grant higher degrees. Prior to the enactment of the IIM Act, IIMs used to have a Fellow Program in Management which was considered equivalent to a PhD program.