COIMBATORE: Tamil Nadu has produced the maximum number of doctorates (PhDs) in the country in the last two years. While the State produced 3,973 PhD degree holders in 2015-16, 3,333 PhDs were awarded in 2014-15.
In the 2015-16 academic year, a total of 24,171 PhDs were awarded across the country, out of which 3,973 PhDs (16.44%) were awarded by Tamil Nadu universities. Following Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh produced 2,205 PhDs and Karnataka produced 1,945 PhDs.
Similarly, during the 2014-15 academic year, 21,830 PhDs were awarded by universities across the nation. Out of that, 3,333 PhDs (15.27%) were from Tamil Nadu. In 2013-14 academic year, Tamil Nadu produced 2,995 PhDs, out of the total 23,861 PhDs produced across the nation.
This was revealed in a reply by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in the Rajya Sabha recently. The All India Survey on Higher Education compiles data on PhDs awarded to students in Universities/ Colleges/ Institutions in the country. As per the AISHE data, 69,862 PhDs have been awarded during the three year period (from 2013-14 to 2015-6) by various Universities/ Colleges/ Institutions in the country, it said.
Commenting on this, Association of University Teachers general secretary N Pasupathy said, “Apart from NET/ SLET, PhD is also an eligibility criterion for faculty appointment. In Tamil Nadu, during the faculty appointment selection process, additional marks were given to PhD degree holders. That could be the reason for more number of graduates opting to pursue PhD research work.”
There were over 500 arts and science colleges, another 500 engineering colleges and many private universities functioning in Tamil Nadu. That could also be the reason for large number of PhDs produced by the State, he added.
However, Pasupathy cautioned that the large number of PhDs produced by Tamil Nadu universities did not imply that quality of research work was also good. “In the case of Category-B PhDs, external PhDs, the quality of research work cannot be equated to the regular PhDs,” he said.