Though being placed among the top universities in the country, Panjab University (PU) has been lagging far behind in terms of uploading PhD thesis on the online database created by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
With more than 4,200 thesis, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is the biggest contributor to the database, 'Shodhganga', in the country followed by Anna University (2,220); Mahatma Gandhi University (1,980); Bundelkhand University (1,769); and Cochin University of Science and Technology (1,410).
However, ironically enough, the PU has uploaded just 11 thesis since 2011. In the latest ranking published by Times Higher Education, among the universities of BRICS (the five emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and other emerging economies, the PU was placed at the 4th spot in the country, of which, 11 varsities which made it to the list of top-100.
The PU had secured the top position in the country and the 13th in the BRICS and emerging economies in 2014.
Of total 11 thesis, eight were uploaded by the department of physical education while one each by the department of English, mathematics and physics. The last contribution made to the database by the PU was on July 5, 2013.
Ironically, the contribution of other prominent universities of the region - Guru Nanak Dev University (432); Punjabi University (391); Kurukshetra University (102); and Himachal Pradesh University (27) - is substantially higher than the PU.
The UGC had launched ambitious project, 'Shodhganga', in 2010 to provide platform for students to upload their PhD thesis, which can be accessed by entire scholarly community, on a portal (<http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/>) that is managed by Information and Library Network Centre (INFLIBNET).
The UGC notification regarding minimum standards and for award of MPhil/PhD degree provides mandate for submission of electronic version of thesis and dissertations by the researchers with an aim to facilitate open access to Indian thesis and dissertations to the academic community across the world.
On an average, around 100 students in the PU submit thesis in a year and their record is maintained by the main library and respective departments.
According to senior faculty members, the miniscule contribution of thesis to the database is due to lack of interest shown by the different departments of the varsity.
Aware of the situation, PU vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover said the varsity needed to contribute maximum thesis to the database, adding the dean research had been asked to ensure all thesis are uploaded online in a time-bound manner.
Despite repeated attempts, dean research Lalit Kumar Bansal was not available for comments.
Provides access to Indian thesis and dissertations in open access to world-wide academic community
Sets up electronic theses and dissertations (ETD) laboratory in eligible universities
Extends access to anti-plagiarism software package to member universities, funds for digitisation of back lists of thesis available in universities