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The Shivaji University Grants Commission (UGC) has still not conveyed a firm decision to Shivaji University, Kolhapur (SUK), about allowing external or undergraduate supervisors as guides for the PhD programme.
According to D R More, Director-BCUD, The UGC has not communicated a proper decision regarding the varsity's request, despite personally meeting an SUK official. "In the last week of April, our representative met UGC officials in Delhi regarding this crucial issue. While UGC officials have given their nod, they have not taken a firm decision as of yet," said More.
More added that while the UGC responded favourably to SUK's request, they skipped the topic during their annual meeting last month, which would have provided a solution. In July, the UGC had issued a circular stating that external supervisors and undergraduate college teachers will not be eligible to offer guidance for the PhD programme.
" The university delegation had visited New Delhi in December and raised a few important issues, including the lower number of postgraduate colleges in the division, and the impact that the UGC guideline could have on research work. "We were promised that the issue would be looked into. If the issue is neglected, Shivaji University will have to manage with few seats for the PhD programme for the second consecutive academic year"
- D R More, Director-BCUD
Shivaji University's PhD programme had taken a beating after the circular regarding guides was issued by the UGC last year. SUK is opposing the UGC move since many colleges affiliated to it offer undergraduate education; colleges imparting postgraduate education are fewer in number. The UGC's guideline resulted in a 90% decrease in the number of PhD seats offered by Shivaji University for the academic year 2015-16. Shivaji University had offered 904 seats when it announced the PhD programme in August last year. Finally, before admissions began, it was able to offer only 100 seats due to the UGC guidelines.
The number of PhD seats, during the later stage of admission, increased to about 200 due to vacancies under the allotted supervisors. An eligible supervisor can offer guidance to eight PhD candidates at a time. The seats go vacant as and when a candidate completes the project.