All thanks to the skewed policy of Panjab University, a large number of researchers, who wish to pursue doctorate in social sciences in Hindi or Punjabi medium, are deprived of the opportunity. Except for language courses, it is mandatory for students of all streams to submit their thesis in English only.
Interestingly, the university allows students to opt for Hindi and Punjabi as medium in the post graduate courses in subjects like economics, political science, public administration and history, but bars them from pursuing doctorate degree in the same medium for the same course. Students are even allowed to appear in PhD entrance test in Hindi and Punjabi languages.
The policy decision of the university has made things difficult for students, especially those coming from rural background.
A research scholar, on the request of anonymity, said the policy is a hurdle for students coming from rural areas of Punjab and Haryana, who wish to do research in their regional language. "Research scholars with little command over English are being forced to take help from others to write their thesis, for which they have to pay Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000 ," said the student.
Gurmeet Singh, faculty member, department of Hindi, had raised the issue in the annual academic council meeting. He demanded that research scholars should be allowed to submit thesis in Hindi or Punjabi. Language should not become a hurdle for students, said Gurmeet Singh.
"Owing to technical reasons, it is not possible to offer choice of language to students in science
stream, but there is no such issue in social sciences. When other universities can allow students submit thesis in a language of their choice, then there is no reason why we cannot do the same," he added.
In one such case, a research scholar of School of Communication Studies, who had opted for Hindi medium, had been left in lurch after some of his papers were not evaluated.
Dr Archana R Singh, chairperson, School of Communication Studies, agreed that language should not become hurdle for students. But there are some laid rules, which have to be followed, she said, adding that the issue of Mukesh Kumar has been taken up with the authorities and will be resolved at the earliest.
When contacted, dean, research, RK Kohli and dean, arts faculty, BS Ghuman said it is a policy decision, which cannot be changed overnight.