Dubious Ph.D degrees: Bihar govt tightens screw

Amidst complaints of large scale irregularities in the award of Ph.D degrees including allegations of plagiarism and recycling of the same dissertation, indiscriminate lifting of material from works done by others without any acknowledgement and ghost writing of dissertations, the government has tightened screw to make things more transparent and reduce the chances of manipulation.

In a directive issued by SA Karim, director higher education, the university officials have been asked to upload details of the Ph.D degrees awarded by the university on its own website as well the UGC website. The exercise of uploading the required information has to be completed within four weeks of the receipt of the govt directive.

Earlier, UGC made NET mandatory even for Ph.D degree holders for being eligible for appointment to the post of Assistant Professors and equivalent positions. Those obtaining Ph.D as per the 2009 UGC guidelines stipulating a set of stiff conditions including pre Ph.D test, one semester long study of research methodology, open house synopsis and viva presentation and publication of at least two papers in quality journals etc have been exempted for NET clearance.

Ironically, no university of Bihar has so far produced a single Ph.D degree holder fulfilling the stiff criteria laid down by the UGC in the year 2009. In MU, the course in research methodology was only recently introduced and the first Ph.D degree is unlikely to be awarded to candidates fulfilling UGC criteria before the year 2017.

Ruing the deterioration of Ph.D degree quality, a govt official recalled that in assembly election 2010, one the contestants, a Ph.D degree holder from MU spelt rifle as RAIPHAL and revolver as REBOLBER in the affidavit filed at the time of nomination. The document was still available on the election commission website.

The said Ph.D degree holder has won all the elections since 1990, has held important portfolios in the Nitish Kumar led govt and is a CM post aspirant for 2015 elections. Needless to say that the Ph.D degree was awarded to the RAIPHAL holder after he became an MLA.

Acknowledging the receipt of the govt directive, Sanjay Tiwari, Coordinator College Development Council said that efforts are being made to comply with the directive. Degree aspirants are being asked to submit a soft copy of the dissertation to facilitate the uploading process.

Tiwari made it clear that it would not be possible for the university to upload required details of the degrees already awarded as soft copies of such dissertations were not available. Uploading the details on UGC website may take sometime as the University will have to sign an agreement with the UGC and only after the agreement signing process, the UGC will give the password for uploading the required details, said the CCDC.


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