Setting a Record with a PhD at 70
By Gokul Prasannan | Published: 02nd December 2013 12:45 PM |
M V Thomas has set a record by becoming the oldest person to be awarded a PhD by the University of Kerala. The 70-year-old chose ‘Role of Malayalam newspapers in the freedom movement in Kerala’ as the topic of his research in Journalism.
Thomas began his research in 2007 under the guidance of K Subash, head of the Department of Communication and Journalism. “Most of the students in the journalism department are attracted towards the glamour and remunerations of media jobs, especially in television. Only a few are interested in research,” observed Thomas, who did his graduation and post-graduation in Malayalam literature, followed by another post-graduation in journalism. He also holds a degree in Education.
“It was my PhD guide and classmate K Subash who advised me to pursue research since I was already publishing some books on media. I never intended to do any course for the sake of obtaining a certificate. I believe that the research I pursued throughout my life will be beneficial to students and future researchers,” he said.
Thomas retired in 1999 as deputy director from the Public Relations Department, Government of Kerala. Prior to this, being a BEd holder, he worked as a teacher in St Stephen’s High School, Pathanapuram.
“Even while working as a teacher, I did my second post-graduation in journalism at Kariavattom. I was the oldest student of the 1977 batch and wrote the first-ever entrance test of Kerala University for a post-graduate course. Among the more than 300 hundred candidates across the state, I could get into the merit list. And I could do PhD under the guidance of my then classmate, K Subash”, recollected Thomas.
Thomas has published numerous books on journalism and Malayalam language. ‘Bharateeya Pathra Charithram’, ‘Madhyamangalum Malayala Sahithyavum’, ‘Fundamentals of Communication and Journalism’ and ‘Janakeeya Bharanam Janagalude Bhashayil’ are a few among them. He has also authored over 15 books in children’s literature. Presently, he serves as the PRO to Housing Board.
Apart from his official responsibilities,Thomas has been conducting classes for students in the Bharateeya Vidya Bhavan’s Institute of Communication and Journalism for the past 25 years and in the Institute of Management, Government of Kerala for the last 15 years as a guest faculty. He also served as Consultant Faculty at the Press Academy, Kakkanad.
Thomas, who hails from Pathanamthitta district, lives with his wife Susamma Thomas. His elder daughter T Beenamol works as a librarian in Mar Ivanios College and second son Sanu George Thomas is a journalist. Thomas’s younger daughter T Reenamol works as a Malayalam teacher in Sarvodaya Vidayala.