The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked research students to submit at least one copy of their PhD thesis, except those in language subjects, in English. As if now, submitting thesis in English was not mandatory. While the move was appreciated by a section of academic fraternity, some teachers and students have expressed their reservation on the development. The recent order of the UGC will be implemented from 2011-12 academic year.
The commission has also ordered that one of the PhD examiners must be from outside the state where a research scholar is pursuing his/her PhD.
“It is because of this reason that UGC has made it compulsory to submit one copy of the thesis in English language,” said HNGU Vice-Chancellor Hemaxiben Rao. Although students with weak English can get their work translated but the cost of translation has to be borne by them.
These orders have received mixed response in the state of Gujarat. While the vice-chancellors of four major universities in the state — Gujarat University (GU), Saurashtra University (SU), Sardar Patel University (SPU) and Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University (HNGU) — have welcomed the UGC order, the teachers and students are not happy with the decision.
Gujarat University Vice-Chancellor Parimal Trivedi has also supported the move, saying it will benefit students. “But this should not be interpreted as an affront to Gujarati language,” said Trivedi.
“Your work cannot be appreciated if you confine your research work to Gujarati language only,” said SPU Vice-Chancellor Harish Padh.
“A student doing Ph D in subjects like economics and political science, pure sciences and management is expected to have working knowledge of English language,” said SU V-C Kamlesh Joshipura.
But the UGC fiat has attracted criticism from Manoj Soni, V-C of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University (BAOU) and Hari Desai, director of the Centre for Studies and Research on life and works of Sardar Vallabh Patel at Anand. Both opine that UGC need not insist on presenting the research work in English.
Incidentally, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India had recently hauled up BAOU for not “fully utilizing” the English Language facility the state's higher education department had helped set up in its premises.
Soni said the translation can be done at any period because even the National Knowledge Commission emphasises on translating the work into English. Meanwhile, Desai fears the new UGC order will affect those PhD students who do not know English.
[Source: Indian Express]