Guest Authorâ€™s Profile:-
Prof. Ramesh Gupta is presently working as a professor in Kurukshetra University. He has over three decades of experience in teaching. Apart from Kurukshetra University, Ramesh has also taught at Jaihind College, Mumbai, MDU College, Rohtak, Vaish College, Bhiwani. A D.Litt. from H.P. University, Shimla, Ramesh has guided 52 Research Scholars for Ph.D./M.Phil. He has been awarded with International Intellectual Achievement Awardâ€“ 2010, Rashtriya Vidya Saraswati Puraskarâ€“ 2010, Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award â€“ 2009, Rashtriya Vikas Ratan Award â€“ 2009, Rashtriya Gaurav Award â€“ 2009,Bharat Jyoti Award â€“ 2006, Rising Personality of India Award-Gold Medal â€“ 2003 to name a few. He has authored 14 books on Hindi Literature and has 18 Research Papers / Articles / Short Stories/Drama to his credit. His interest are Reforms in Educational System; Political System; Legal System; IncomeTaxAct; literature; Hindi Novels; Drama and Tourism. An ardent lover of classical music, Prof. Gupta loves to do blogging in his leisure time.
Repetition of Topics:-
To improve the standard of Ph.D. programme, one of the most essential elements is that the Topic allotted to a Research Scholar should be original and there should not be duplication or any repetition of any research work being done presently at other Indian Universities. However, the problem arises when simultaneously same topic is registered at two or more Universities at the same time, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Unfortunately, there is no Central Registration Agency which can provide data before registration of a particular topic whether same topic or same topic in a modified form is being pursued at some other University or not.
In order to improve quality of research work for Ph.D. programme, UGC should be pursued to create a Cell where information from all the Indian Universities regarding registrations of topics in a particular subject for Ph.D. is available at the initial stage of research. As soon as P.G. Board of Studies of a University clears a topic, it should be sent to UGC and only after clearance from UGC, student should be finally registered for Ph.D.
Alternatively, universities can also take some initiative of their own in this direction by setting up a Cell in their Libraries where all the information regarding registration of topics in a particular subject of all the Universities is collected from internet and websites of different Universities and also by requesting them personally. Information so received should be then fed in the computers and supplied to the Chairperson of the Department concerned, much before the process of registration of Ph.D. candidates begins. I believe even this single step will prevent repetition of topics to a large extent.
Evaluation System of a Ph.D. thesis:-
The Evaluation System of a Ph.D. thesis is the root cause of our abysmally low standard of research. Unfortunately, many students who have no aptitude for research, are first admitted to a Ph.D. programme and worse still, acquire the degree dirt cheap because the thesis are sent to their supervisor's friend/colleague/contemporary for evaluation.
In most of the Universities, including Kurukshetra University, the supervisors themselves suggest the names of Ph.D. examiners. The supervisor always looks for safe examiners, and if he does not know any, he takes the help of his colleague(s) to procure the names of such safe examiners. Basically, the policy is, 'You scratch my back, I will scratch yours'. As a result of this (mal) practice, the supervisor has a casual approach and does not take much interest in scrutinizing the thesis of his student because he knows that irrespective of the quality of the Ph.D. thesis, the student will get the work approved as it is going to be evaluated by his friend. Some examiners even dare to evaluate the Ph.D. thesis, which is not at all related to their field of specialization. This disastrous approach is the main cause of our mediocre Ph.D. degrees as the supervisor is not bothered about the rejection of the thesis. One can find many such thesis adorned by cobwebs in our libraries, which do not deserve to be there at all.
Something serious has to be done with the evaluation system if we really want to improve our standard. Firstly, the supervisor should not be involved at any stage, in selecting the panel of the examiners. This will make the supervisor work harder and take the Ph.D. thesis of his student more seriously. Secondly, there should be a centralized system of evaluation. The UGC can play a major role in this direction. It should build a data bank of all specialized serious and good workers in the country who can act as examiners of a Ph.D. thesis. The Universities should send the Ph.D. thesis to the UGC, from where it will be mailed to at least two examiners by masking the names of student, supervisor and their affiliations. Alternatively, universities can have its own data bank and pool of examiners from where Vice-Chancellor can pick names of any two examiners in a particular subject without bringing it to the knowledge of Chairperson or Supervisor. The evaluation should be strictly on merit. At times rejection of a Ph.D. thesis would serve the purpose because either the supervisors will start taking things seriously or they will stop guiding any Ph.D. student. It is better to produce only a few good quality theses than to have a number of feeble thesis.
Hiding Identity of Supervisor and candidates:-
Right from Matriculation Exam to M.A. Examination, Identity of Examinees is kept Secret from the Examiners. However, it is strange that in such an important examination like that of Ph.D. and M.Phil, Identity of candidates is not kept Secret from the Examiners of Ph.D. Thesis/M.Phil Dissertation. Not only are these, even the Names of Supervisors boldly printed on the Title of Thesis/Dissertations. As a result, most of the Examiners do not evaluate the Thesis/Dissertation but write Reports/Award Grades proportionately to the status of the Supervisor. Generally, if Supervisor happens to be a Dean/Chairperson, his candidates get Excellent Reports for Ph.D. Thesis and Awarded highest Grades for M.Phil Dissertations.
While sending Ph.D. Thesis/M.Phil Dissertations for Evaluation to External Examiners, Identity of both Supervisor as well as candidates should be kept a closely guarded secret.
Video Recording of Viva-Voce of Ph.D. Candidates
To improve quality of Higher Research, Video Recording of Viva-Voce of Ph.D. Candidates is a must. If Viva-Voce of Ph.D. candidate is excellent, then the video recording of such a Viva-Voce will help future candidates for Ph.D. to learn and to improve their own performance. In some cases where Ph.D. Candidates in connivance with their Supervisor and external examiner indulge in malpractices then Video Recording of Viva-Voce will act as a deterrent.