Indore: A Free Press news report on denial of five percent relaxation in marks for PhD admissions to candidates belonging to reserved categories has made an impact. Realising the mistake, University Grants Commission on Wednesday issued a notification for amendments in UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Awards of MPhil/PhD Degree) Regulations, 2016.

The notification states that a relaxation of 5 percent marks (from 50 percent to 45 percent) will be allowed for candidates belonging to SC, ST,OBC, differently-abled category in the entrance examination conducted by the universities.

The goof-up in PhD-MPhil regulations came to fore when Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya deprived PhD aspirants belonging to reserved categories relaxation of five percent in marks for admission in prestigious course. When questioned, DAVV PhD cell chairman VB Gupta had said that there was no provision for relaxation to SC, ST candidates in marks of doctoral entrance test (DET) in UGC Regulations, 2016.

However, there was provision for relaxation in DET marks for reserved category students in PhD Ordinance approved by state coordination committee (higher education). When Free Press exposed this, the university admitted its mistake and issued a supplementary results giving five percent relaxation to SC, ST and OBC category students.

But this benefit remained confined to PhD aspirants from reserved categories. Their MPhil counterparts were denied the same benefit as there was no state approved ordinance for any relaxation to candidates. “When the news regarding goof-up reached us, we corrected the mistake and amended regulations 2016 giving five percent relaxation to reserved categories students in both in PhD and MPhil admissions,” said a UGC official wishing anonymity.

Special admission drive

The UGC said that if in spite of relaxation, the seats allotted to SC, ST, OBC and  differently-abled candidates remain unfilled, the concerned universities should launch a special admission drive for that particular category within one month from the date of closure of admissions of general category. “The university will devise its own admission procedure along with eligibility conditions to ensure that most seats under the categories get filled,” UGC secretary Rajnish Jain said.

Proposing amendment in MPhil ordinance: DAVV

DAVV PhD cell chairman VB Gupta said university would send proposal to state coordination committee for amendment in MPhil ordinance in line with notification issued by UGC. The UGC has proposed five percent relaxation in entrance tests of both PhD and MPhil courses. “While there is relaxation for quota students in PhD admissions, amendment has to be made in MPhil ordinance for same,” Gupta said.

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