COIMBATORE:The Bharathiar University has scrapped the controversial Category-B PhD, after it came to light that the course was being offered in violation of University Grants Commission (UGC) norms.
“The Research and Development PhD programme under Category-B offered by Bharathiar University is discontinued from July 2015 session onwards,” Registrar KG Senthilvasan stated in a release.
According to the UGC Minimum Standards and Procedure for award of MPhil / PhD Degree Regulation of 2009, universities shall allocate the supervisor (guide) from amongst the regular faculty members in a department or its affiliated PG colleges or institutes depending on the number of students per faculty member, the available specialisation among the faculty supervisors and the research interests of the students. Under the Category-B PhD, the research scholar and the guide can be from any part of the country.
Urging the university to stop offering such PhDs, the regular PhD students of the university staged a protest last week. Following the backlash, the university formed a 10-member committee to look into this issue. The committee subsequently submitted its report to the university administration, recommending scrapping of the Category-B PhD programme. On Wednesday, research scholars staged a stir again, pressing for their demands. Immediately, the university announced that the Category-B PhD programme is scrapped from July onwards.
But one research scholar who was among the agitators said, “Our other demands remain unaddressed. The university should retrieve the degree certificates from those who had completed Category-B PhD earlier and clearly mention in their certificates that the research was carried out under Category-B. Likewise, these Category-B PhD degree holders should not be provided guideship opportunities.” The university should not conduct admissions for Category-B PhDs for those who appeared for the entrance test on July 11, he demanded.
Former general secretary of the Association of University Teachers C Pichandy said, the AUT had consistently pointed to the flaws associated with offering Category-B PhDs and had taken up the matter with the Board of Studies in Research, besides passing a resolution calling for the scrapping of Category-B PhDs. The decision of the university to discard the Category-B PhD vindicates AUT’s stand, he added.