The University Grants Commission has decided to review the Ph.D. theses of all Central, State and private Indian universities amid concerns that the degrees granted in the last 10 years to candidates lack in quality and authenticity
The official UGC notification stated that the proposals to conduct the study will be executed and completed over the next six months. Although the study will cover the entire country, the findings may be given at the national as well as state-level lists respectively. The process will also include the deemed-to-be universities.
The notification also stated that the evaluation process of the theses would help to indicate the quality aspects proposed by the interested parties. It survey aims at evaluating the research papers with global criteria as the yardstick. Many scholars are of the opinion that this exercise was indeed needed and will also help in driving higher spending on research by the universities.
UGC member Sushma Yadav further explained the rationale of the study and stated that higher education in the country had expanded a lot over the last decade but in the absence of growth in terms of quantity. Hence keeping a tab on quality becomes a major concern. A lot of experts mainly attributed this to lack of sufficient guidance, orientation and training offered to the students.
While the concern for quality by the UGC is commendable, it should not dictate the subjects for research. The subjects depend on a lot of factors and are subjective in nature and directly co-related to society. The UGC wants educational institutions to submit details of the capabilities, track record, the procedure adopted and also budget estimates for conducting various research studies in the country.
It has not, however, concerned itself with the fact that Ph.D. scholars all across the country in both Central universities and IITs have been protesting as their monthly stipend has not been paid by the central government. The stipend has not been increased either.