UGC criteria for PhD guide put researchers in a quandary

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 Feb 2018 10:00:44


By Ajay Mardikar,

With the University Grants Commission imposing new eligibility criteria for qualifying as research supervisor, the research scholars are vehemently searching for those who are qualified to guide them.

Those who have retired from service on superannuation, now cannot guide these researchers, under the new rules framed by the UGC. Those who have spend their life teaching and supervising research, have been rendered ‘useless’ by the UGC, even if the society considers them experts in the field because of their vast experience.

On the one hand the UGC rules say that only those in service will be eligible to supervise the research work for PhD and on the other hand the State Government has imposed ban on recruitment of teaching and non-teaching employees.

The UGC rules on allocation of research supervisor says, ‘Any regular Professor of the university/ Institution deemed to be a university, college, with at least five research publications in referred journals and any regular Associate/ Assistant Professor....... with a Ph D degree and at least two publications in referred journals may be recognised as Research Supervisor’.

A person, who has completed PhD degree and published two research papers in referred journals can become a research supervisor on the day he joins any institution as Assistant Professor and gets approval from the university as regular teacher. The condition of teaching experience has not been mentioned in the UGC notification. At the same time the list of referred journals is not available. Registration for any journal can be obtained by spending some money. A large number of such journals are being published for monetary consideration. A large number of ghost writers are also active and write research papers regularly.

With the degrading quality of doctoral research in the last one decade, the doctoral degree is only an addition to the biodata of the research scholar. Only a few research works are worth appreciating and contribute to the field. The UGC rule also states that a co-supervisor can be allowed in inter-disciplinary research work. the decision about the same has to be taken by the Research Advisory Committee to be constituted by the University. This is another impediment, which the research scholar is facing. The UGC has already imposed restriction on number of candidates, which a recognised Research Supervisor can accept. It is not clear whether acceptance to work as Co-supervisor will be in addition to this number or not. A professor can accept a maximum three M Phil and eight PhD scholars, an associate professor can guide two M Phil and six PhD scholars, while the restriction on assistant professor is of one M Phil and four PhD candidates.

With the ambiguity in the UGC notification about research supervisor and the procedure to be followed the scholars are in a confused state of mind. Forget about the research, search for the guide takes years together.

India at 44th place in research promotion

India is at 44th place among 50 countries in the field of research promotion. The position, which is stated to be improved one, is based on the survey conducted last year.
Although India is largest producer of engineering and technology degree holders, it has not been able to promote research. the nation also earns a dubious distinction of producing non-employable professional degree holders, which is around 90%. USA and UK, which produce 20% to 30% professional degree holders compared to India, are on the top so far as research is concerned. Switzerland, which is smaller than some of our big cities earns top position on this count.