THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It is not just the deprivation of fellowships that is haunting the research scholars of the Kerala University. The drawbacks and delay in the course work system which was implemented in 2010 had also added to their woes.
Under the course work system, research scholars are to write three exams every six months and get the papers cleared within two years if the PhD is to be registered. The first paper is on research methodology while the rest are related to the subject of research. While the MPhil students have been exempted from writing the research methodology paper,it is mandatory for the direct PhD candidates.
The Kerala University has conducted two course work exams so far and it was found that majority of the research scholars floundered. “There is a syllabus for the subject papers but no classes, course or a scheme. There is no pass board to conduct the examination or a scheme for evaluation,” said Charles Varghese, a research scholar in the Department of Sociology.
While it has been entrusted with the Credit and Semester system of the University, the exam is actually being conducted by the Controller of Examination who has the onus of 12,500 odd exams too. Reason why the course work examination which was supposed to be conducted in February 2012 has not happened so far. Also the delay in completing the revaluation of the papers (as majority had failed) had caused the postponement of the exam.
The syllabus is created by the guides and experts in the department and is approved by the Doctoral Committee. However, neither the University nor the Research committee has approved any guidelines for the scheme or course materials. The students do not know what to expect and the external evaluation by people who have no idea how to appraise it make matters worse.
A student has to remit Rs 500 for appearing for one examination in the course work system. “It has become a ritual to collect the fee and merely conduct an examination without any courses being offered,” said a research scholar.
The Researchers’ Union, in its meeting with the Standing Committee for Research and Scholarships which had recently visited the Kariavattom campus, had conveyed the problems of the course work system.
Though it was the UGC which introduced the course work system in PhD, the respective universities are to streamline it using their own methods. However, the Kerala University is yet to bestow any thoughts in this direction.