On Saturday morning, a 2006 Malegaon blast accused, Dr Farogh Maqdomi, left Arthur Road jail escorted by several security guards.
He was on his way to take the PhD entrance exam, which was conducted by the University of Mumbai across 12 centres in the city.
Maqdomi, a Unani doctor, was one of the 2006 candidates who took the university’s first PhD entrance test (PET). About 2,174 candidates had registered for it.
“The candidate (Maqdomi) had filled in the application form and met all the requirements so he could take the test. He was giving the test for a PhD in Urdu,” said Vilas Shinde, controller of examinations, Mumbai University.
At some centres students demanded the question paper in Marathi and were allowed to write the exam in Marathi. Shinde said the varsity would consider setting the paper in Marathi too next year.
The University Grants Commission made it mandatory for all Indian universities to conduct an entrance test before registering students for a PhD. In the interim, from August 2009 when the UGC directive came to January 2011, the university registered many other candidates for PhD without the entrance test. Now, the fate of these candidates will be decided in the next academic council meeting.
The new process includes clearing an entrance test comprising an aptitude test and another test on subjects of specialisation.
The university offers PhDs in about 60 subjects. Selected candidates then have to do a six-month classroom course on research methodology.
On identifying the research area, researchers have to make a presentation to a panel, followed by interviews. Researchers would be assigned a guide and would finally then be registered.