UGC’s PhD norms leave scholars in lurch

Create: 05/07/2011 - 01:59

The norms formulated by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for PhD course has left many scholars in  Mumbai University in lurch. In June 2009, UGC came out with norms that asked universities to conduct an entrance test for enrolling students in PhD course followed by a research methodology course. The aim was to enhance the quality of PhD research in India.

But Mumbai University gave its nod to above norms only in November 2010. In the interim period, about 600 candidates were enrolled for the PhD programme in the university. On March 24, 2011 the university exempted these candidates from taking the university level test and allowed their PhD guides to conduct it, but they still have to do the research methodology course which has attracted flak from students.  

“What sense does it make for me to do a course on research after my research work is almost complete. I am a teacher in a school, how will I attend six months of classes,” said Pramod Pandey, who is pursuing his PhD in Hindi from Mumbai University. 
Meanwhile, Vilas Shinde, controller of examinations, has clearly stated that following UGC rules is must, “The candidates will have to follow UGC guidelines and do the course in research methodology.”   

Those who were registered in mid 2009 have completed almost two years of
their PhD. Candidates can submit their final synopsis 22 months after
registration and their thesis within six months of that.

Candidates said that before they registered, they had already done preliminary work on their PhDs. “Why can’t the preliminary work we did be counted as research methodology. The course has not yet been drawn up. When will the course be ready, when will we complete it?” asked a candidate who was registered in August 2009.

Shinde said that the departments had to draw up the course. But a faculty member said that no course has been drawn up still in most departments.
Renu Rai, who is also doing her PhD in Hindi and registered in August 2009, said, “The entrance test is understandable. I had taken time off from work to focus on my PhD and was hoping to join back in the next few months. But with no course in sight I will lose out on a whole year of work.”

[Source: Hindustan Times]

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