COIMBATORE: The University Grants Commission has decided to commission a study on the quality of PhD theses produced by Indian universities in the past ten years. The apex regulatory body for higher education in the country is planning to complete the study in six months.
The scope of the study would involve the PhD theses in different disciplines at various central, state, state-private and deemed-to-be universities. The study would have to be pan-India and may give findings at national as well as state level with regard to the quality of PhD theses, indicating the quality aspects proposed by the interested parties, UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain in a recent public notice.
The UGC has invited interested parties to send their proposal, indicating their capabilities, track record, procedure to be adopted and estimated budget for conducting the study, latest by June 10.
Commenting on this, Association of University Teachers former president K Pandian said, “Today, PhD has become a business and there are several people (teachers) producing PhDs by registering themselves as guides in different universities. Due to this, there is a question mark on the quality of PhDs.”
“When there is a National Eligibility Test and a State Eligibility Test for assistant professorship, why should we give exemption to PhD? How many PhDs are relevant to society,” he asked. When PhD is made compulsory for teaching, the quality gets affected, he opined.
In 1983, the UGC made MPhil mandatory for teaching. However, now MPhil is not a qualification for teaching profession. The main reason is the quality of MPhil has come down and has turned into project work, he recalled and added that the same was happening to PhDs, as now it was a qualification necessary for teaching.
The study proposed by UGC may unearth how poor quality of PhDs is produced in the country and also the issue of plagiarism. It could be a lesson for the UGC to take corrective steps to avoid such issues in
the future,” he added.