The University Grants Commission (UGC) ignored the Shivaji University, Kolhapur's (SUK) plea to allow external or undergraduate supervisors for PhD guidance in its annual meeting last week.
The university will have to do away with some PhD seats offered for the second consecutive year. The UGC had issued guidelines in July last year, restricting external supervisors from offering guidance to a university's candidates. It said that guidance should be offered from affiliated postgraduate (PG) institutes only. The SUK's dearth of affiliated PG colleges coupled with the UGC guideline had resulted in a decrease in available PhD seats by almost 90% for the academic year 2015-16.
Dr.More, the director of the SUK's BCUD said that if the UGC had come up with a solution to the issue at its annual meeting, the university would have been able to retain its original offer of over 900 PhD seats. We are not giving up on this issue this easily. For us, it is an important academic issue and has to be resolved soon. We will send our representative to New Delhi on April 26 for a meeting with UGC officials. We hope there will be some kind of resolution.
More added that an SUK delegation had been sent to New Delhi to meet with the UGC over the issue in December last year. The delegation had raised a few important points, including the low number of postgraduate colleges in the division and the impact that the UGC guideline could have on research work..
The university had offered as many as 904 seats after the announcement of PhD admission in August last year. However, this was lowered to only 100 seats because of the UGC guidelines. More said that due to the UGC guideline, many qualified teachers working in undergraduate (UG) colleges automatically lost their chance to guide students. This was despite their vast experience and quality research feedback, he said.
On July 6 last year, the UGC had issued a circular stating that external supervisors from other universities and non-affiliated colleges will not be eligible to offer guidance to PhD students. As many SUK-affiliated colleges offer only UG courses and those offering PG courses are low in number, the university is opposing the UGC's move.
The UGC guideline stated that a university will be violating Regulation, if it awards a PhD or MPhil degree to one who has not completed the work under the guidance of a faculty member of the university or an affiliated PG college.
- On July 6, 2015, the UGC had issued a circular stating that external supervisors will not be eligible as guides for PhD students
- The SUK had the UGC to remove the word PG from its guideline because of the dearth of PG colleges in the division. The SUK requested that it should be replaced with 'affiliated colleges'
- An SUK delegation met with UGC officials in December last year, where they were told that the issue will be looked into at the annual meeting
" We requested the UGC to remove the word 'postgraduate' from its guideline and replace it with 'affiliated' colleges. We were told that the UGC would look into the issue. Other universities in the state should also show some support regarding the issue. "Even after discussing the UGC guideline with officials of almost all major universities in the state, nobody has taken any stand. This is very disappointing. We would be happy if other universities also had a say in the matter. We are not giving up on this issue this easily. For us, it is an important academic issue, which has to be resolved soon. We will send our representative for a meeting with UGC officials next week on April 26 at New Delhi. We hope there will be some kind of resolution."
- Dr. D R More, Director, (BCUD), SUK
Source - Prasad Patil, City Journalist, College Dekho