HYDERABAD: Enrolment in PhD courses is falling in Telangana, raising concern among educationists. As per All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2015-16 report, the PhD enrolment in universities in TS fell from 4,596 in academic year 2014-15 when the state came into existence to 4,133 in 2015-16.
When contacted, T Papi Reddy, chairman of Telangana State Council for Higher Education, attributed the falling trend to lack of supervisors and enough facilities in the state universities.“Of all state universities only Osmania University and Kakatiya University have the required infrastructure. Universities like Palamuru University, Mahatma Gandhi University, Satavahana University and Telangana University lag behind.
The nature of policies is also such that it makes recruitment process time consuming. Recruitment has not yet taken place to fill the gap left by retirement of senior professors”, he added. Prof Laxminarayana, an educationist said, “There are over 2,000 vacancies in the universities and nearly 3,000-4,000 in colleges across the state. These institutions function by recruiting faculty on contractual or guest basis who can not guide PhD students.”
Enrolment of SC, ST and OBC students has increased
Reddy, however, said that one positive trend has been that over the last few years, enrolment of SC, ST and OBC students in PhD through Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) has increased in Telangana.
Crisis in higher education
According to the AISHE report, more than 2.74 crore students who were enrolled in undergraduate courses in India and only 1.26 lakh students were enrolled for PhD courses, which is just 0.4 per cent of the total undergraduate population which is being termed as a crisis in higher education in India. Kalpana Kannabiran, director of Council for Social Development says, “Higher education is in crisis.
Universities do not have enough students who will push the bar of higher education. This also means that you don’t have choice - because the faculty will also be sourced from this minuscule population.”
Low pay & no appreciation
Prof Vineet Gandhi from IIIT Hyderabad feels that society’s apathy towards research also acts as a deterrent for some. “Research is not motivated enough in our country. Rather than strengthening core research, we believe in importing technology,” said Prof Vineet. “Most students in Telangana universities are from poor families who would rather earn and support their family than pursue research which does not pay much and takes many years,” adds Prof Lakshminarayana.