Number of PhD degrees from PU falling

The revised UGC guidelines have reduced the number of doctorate theses in Patna University (PU). The number of PhDs awarded by the university has sharply declined following the implementation of the new regulations. Scholars seem to be least interested in pursuing research and getting PhD or DLitt/DSc degree.
An analysis of the PhD degrees awarded by PU during the last five years shows a progressive decline in the number of candidates getting doctorate degrees year after year. In 2010-11, as many as 216 scholars were awarded PhD degree while the number of recipients in 2011-12 was 212. In 2012-13, the figure slumped to 187 and in 2013-14, only 174 candidates were awarded the degrees. The number of PhD degree recipients is likely to fall down further in 2014-15, according to PU sources. Earlier, 10 to 15 years back, the university used to award more than 300 PhD degrees every year.
Even though the new UGC PhD guidelines of 2009 were implemented in PU in 2012, the process of registration had slowed down much earlier owing to the uncertainty prevailing in the academic circles over the implementation of the guidelines. The revised guidelines provided for some provisions which were rather difficult to be implemented. Ultimately, the chancellor’s secretariat had to intervene in the matter and proposed uniform regulations for PhD work for all the universities in the state.
The new PhD regulations implemented in PU provide that after clearing the pre-PhD registration test conducted by the university or the NET examination conducted by the UGC, the candidates shall have to go through the mandatory six-month pre-PhD course to be organized by the faculty concerned and the department.
Upon satisfactory completion of the course work, which shall form part and parcel of the PhD programme, the scholar shall undertake research work and produce a draft thesis. Prior to submission of the thesis, the scholar shall make a pre-PhD presentation at a seminar in the department concerned, along with a draft of the thesis. Such presentation shall be open to all the faculty members and research students for getting feedback and comments which may be incorporated in the draft thesis. The regulations further provide that prior to the submission of the final thesis, the candidate shall have to publish at least one research paper in a standard referred journal and produce evidence of such publication in the form of either the acceptance letter or the reprint of the published paper.
Academics feel research activities have definitely taken a back seat in PU these days. As the doctorate degree no longer fetches any job easily, most scholars are quite disinterested in taking up research works. Moreover, the university fails to provide even basic library and laboratory facilities to research scholars. Neither the postgraduate departments nor the PU central library subscribe to the latest journals due to paucity of funds.
Some postgraduate departments have purchased costly equipment with the financial assistance received from the UGC, but they are non-functional for want of some minor repair. Only a few departments have got internet access.
News Courtesy: Times of India

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