India ranks 4th among number of doctoral graduates

Deccan Chronicle.  | Indulekha Arakkal

Nation, Current Affairs

Discoveries such as GPS would never have happened if it wasn’t for PhD research: Report

Producing slightly over 24,000 doctoral graduates, India is ranked fourth against USA that produces 68,000 and tops the list.

Hyderabad: India stands tall in the number of doctoral graduates produced on an yearly basis, according to the recently released Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report. Producing slightly over 24,000 doctoral graduates, India is ranked fourth against USA that produces 68,000 and tops the list. 

The report states that many discoveries such as MP3 or the GPS technology would never have happened if it wasn't for PhD research. According to educational experts, more innovative research is needed and the existing mode of financial support to graduates also needs to undergo a change. India’s top rank is even more commendable as it is one of the few emerging economies that have featured in the list. 

Most of the doctorates produced are in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. With major universities in Telangana open for PhDs, professors say that although the number of students applying for research is growing, quality of research has gone down.

C Srinivasulu, zoology professor of Osmania University said that a trend of competitive production of research can be seen in Telangana, without focus on quality. “Universities should stop focusing on the number of PhD scholars but to make the work have international standard. Similarly special incentives have to be provided to research students,” he said.

Professors claim that incentives should be given to all students to ensure good work rather than differentiation on the brand name of the university. 
Shashi Deshmukh, an English Professor said that most of our research is based on digging up of old theories and focusing on them which leads to a lack of innovative research. 

“Innovative research requires stimulation at the beginning-level. The budget for scholars in state universities in Telangana is meagre and is bound to affect the ideation stage as students will not think on a large-scale. Many students complain of delayed stipends and lack of research guides in universities. The student guide ratio continues to be bleak in many universities, leading to drop outs,” he said.

Educational experts question the demand for quality when students are not getting the facilities required for the same. Professor K. Laxminarayana, member of Save Education Society said that after the formation of Telangana, we haven’t seen any special incentives given to our scholars. 

“Without facilities and infrastructure, how can they work? Most students have to share equipment and infrastructure which lengthens the process. Similarly funds are being cut by the UGC and Centre for scholars which will all result in problems in government institutions which means that eventually only private universities will remain,” he said.

Educational experts have also stressed on the importance of providing training to research scholars to increase their exposure to the industry. The report also stated that the study was not based on the numbers per head of the population and if it was done so, there would be more changes in countries like India having a larger head count than many countries.