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Rule forces PhD candidates to do research course

Pramod Pandey is all ready to submit the final synopsis of his research thesis for his PhD and now he has been asked to do a six-month course on how to do research.

mumbai Updated: May 06, 2011 02:10 IST
Kiran Wadhwa

Pramod Pandey is all ready to submit the final synopsis of his research thesis for his PhD and now he has been asked to do a six-month course on how to do research.

Registered in July 2009, Pandey is among those candidates who are almost done with their research but have to now take an entrance test and attend a six-month beginner’s course on research methodology.

In June 2009, the University Grants Commission (UGC) drew up norms that universities would have to follow for registering research fellows, which included an entrance test and the research methodology course. The idea was to enhance the quality of PhD research in India.

But Mumbai University finalised the selection process only in November 2010. In the interim, about 600 candidates were enrolled for the PhD programme. On March 24, 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.

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.

“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 Pandey, who is pursing his PhD in Hindi.

Vilas Shinde, controller of examinations, said, “The candidates will have to follow UGC guidelines and do the course in research methodology.”

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.”