Mumbai University has seen a 58% decline in PhD graduates in the past four years across streams. In 2008, 325 students were awarded PhD degrees, while it reduced to 134 (58 per cent decrease) in 2011.
The highest numbers of PhD degrees, 85, were awarded in Chemistry in 2008, which reduced to 20 in 2011. Similarly, in all other streams, a debacle fall in numbers has been noticed. The only exceptions are Management Studies and Hindi that a saw marginal increase in numbers.
The above information was accessed in reply to the RTI application that was filed by Anil Galgali, RTI activist.“The registration of PhD students is declining due to the complicated centralised entrance test (CET) and a six-month course that Mumbai University has implemented,” said Abhay Pethe, ex-HOD, economics department, Mumbai University.
The process is mainly discouraging foreign students, who find hurdles in clearing the process in the limited time they are here. “The entrance test is supposed to be held every six months, but in the past year no test has been conducted. The university could let autonomous departments conduct their entrance test instead of having a centralised one,” Pethe said.
On the other hand, Rajpal Hande, director, board of college and university development, Mumbai University said, “The completion of PhD degree depends on the pace of both guide and student. While some students are able to complete it in 3years, others may take eight or more years. The UGC wants quality research and has therefore prescribed norms such as the entrance test.”