HYDERABAD: The University Grants Commission (UGC) regulation-2016, that had fixed a ceiling on the number of scholars a faculty member can guide, coupled with impending retirement of 44 University of Hyderabad faculty members between 2018-19 to 2020-21 academic year, has paved way for UoH to take account of all its backlog PhD cases.
According to the university rule-book, a professor is not allocated any fresh scholars in the last three years of his/her tenure so that when he/she leaves, the research of the candidate is not affected. This is likely to affect the fresh enrolments for the course.
In addition, those students who have not deregistered with the university are also on the rolls and hindering fresh intake.
It is in the light of these factors and pressure from the Student Union that University of Hyderabad constituted a committee to decide on the fate of over 200 PhD backlogs who have either not deregistered or have deregistered but haven’t re-registered with the varsity within a month’s time.
The student community, while lauding the administration’s attempt to increase the intake, is also sceptical about the actual number of enrolled scholars in the absence of prospectus. “As per the rule, the administration tables the draft of the prospectus which is then discussed and passed by the Academic Council. This year, this did not happen as the officials said that prospectus was not ready since departments had delayed in giving information,” said Dontha Prashant, a research scholar.
In addition, the Student Union also pressured the administration to not consider those who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting their final viva as students on their rolls. “This will free some slots with some professors and create room for adding more students,” said Arif Ahammed, general secretary of the Student Union.
Following the decision made at Monday’s Academic Council meeting, UoH on Tuesday notified students to apply to the Appeals committee headed by the Dean, Students’ Welfare, with suitable endorsement by their respective supervisors, latest by March 24.
The committee will meet the research scholar and his/her supervisor between March 26-28 to assess the status of doctoral work. A period of six month is likely to be given to such students for submission of their thesis.
Speaking to Express, Prof Vinod Pavarala, official spokesperson of UoH, clarified that once this process is completed, pressure will be eased as slots will be available for more intake.
“As per the UGC norms, most of our professors have already reached their limit. This is also because the time PhD students took to give their thesis was not regulated. Naturally, this means new students cannot be enrolled,” he said.
PhD and 154 MPhil students study
As per UGC regulations, only 8 PhD and 3 MPhil students are allowed per professor at any given point
For an assistant professor, it’s 6 PhD and 2 MPhil students
For associate professor, it is 4 PhD and 1 MPhil student
After 6 years, PhD candidates automatically get deregistered and have to get themselves re-registered within the next five years