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Irrelevant research

DC | N. ARUN KUMAR
Published Jan 4, 2014, 3:15 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 4:36 am IST
With many research scholars opting for insignificant and weird titles for their Ph.D research.

Chennai: With many research scholars opting for insignificant and weird titles for their Ph.D research, the union human resource development (HRD) ministry has constituted a committee to streamline research at universities/colleges. Academicians say that some of these research scholars also get stipends from the union government for their research, even though their research is irrelevant to society.

Prof C. Pichandy, head of journalism and mass communication department at PSG Arts and Science College and vice-president of the Association of University Teachers, felt that even though universities allow research scholars to do inter-disciplinary research in subjects other than the one they are experts in, several students research topics not worth mentioning.

“Research is that you take up a problem, do detailed analysis and publish results, whatever it may be, but with a few people not doing serious research the whole research fraternity has a sorry face,” he said.

Pointing out that several private colleges boast of producing several hundred Ph.Ds in any given year, the senior academician lamented that colleges and faculty compromise quality for quantity. “As colleges want to produce more Ph.Ds they don’t bother about the subject or the title; what they want is to show the increase in the number of Ph.D scholars year after year,” Prof Pichandy said.

Another academician blamed the research system as it had become guide centric, and guides (professor) misuse their power. “With powers vested in the guides, the latter go to the extent of sexually harassing the scholars, with no option left but for some Ph.D scholars to yield. So this system should be appropriately changed to safeguard the interest of students,” the academician said.

Prof R. Thandavan, vice-chancellor of the 156-year-old University of Madras and member of the HRD committee for research,  said the working group would recommend that universities not approve weird and insignificant research titles.

“As I have guided several Ph.D students in my four decade career I know the hassles of a Ph.D student, so we will devise a system which will be suitable for both the guide and the scholar. We, at Madras university, have evolved a transparent system for research so that the student is not affected,” he added.

Next: Platform created to share varsities research projects

Platform created to share varsities research projects

N. Arun Kumar |?DC

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education has created an integrated board of studies, an exclusive platform for universities to share their research projects and experiences as lack of coordination at the institutional level makes universities reinvent the wheel with government funding.

“Universities in our state lack coordination among themselves; this makes research redundant. Curriculum too differs in universities. Keeping this in mind, we discussed the issue with vice-chancellors in our council meeting held recently and came up with a plan for an integrated board of studies,” Kumar Jayant, vice-chairman (in-charge), Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education and commissioner of technical education said. He said that universities would get an opportunity to share their resources and knowledge in the integrated board of studies.

Suresh, a faculty at a private arts and science college, pointed out that due to lack of a common curriculum in the state, students face hardship when they migrate from one university to another as course content is not the same in any two universities.

“When one goes for an interview in the Teachers’ Recruitment Board (TRB), we get to know that the course studied by us is not considered as the course content differs from the one approved by the Board. So, an integrated board of studies will solve this issue,” he added.

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Location: Tamil Nadu




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