Chennai: Anna University has increased the fee for various research activities,
including synopsis submission, late submission of thesis, institute recognition and renewal by more than 20 per cent to 100 per cent with immediate effect.
The move is aimed to generate revenue for conducting research evaluation and inviting experts in doctoral committees, sources said. There are around 13,000 PhD scholars pursuing research at Anna University and its affiliated colleges.
According to a circular from the Centre for Research in Anna University to all affiliated colleges, the fee for synopsis submission has been increased from Rs 6,500 to Rs 8000, for late submission of thesis from Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500.
The fee for resubmission of thesis is now Rs 12,000 against Rs 10,000 earlier. For deferring the viva, students have to pay `8,000 while the earlier fee was Rs 16,500. The supervisor recognition has been doubled to Rs 2,000.
The fee for change of category has been increased five-fold from Rs 500 to Rs 2,500. “A majority of the research scholars are faculty members in private engineering colleges who are doing their PhD part-time. They are
receiving a low salary and the fee increase would burden them further,” the principal of a city-based engineering college said.
“If doing PhD becomes costlier, the faculty members may not be able to finish their research. It would affect the quality of engineering education,” another principal said.
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has been urging engineering colleges to go for National Board of Accreditation (NBA) and National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accreditation from 2021.
“The university should facilitate research in the engineering colleges to meet the demands of AICTE. The university should also help the colleges by giving a
minimum amount from the fees collected from the research scholars,” they urged.
Sources said the introduction of minimum marks in the entrance test for PhD scholars has reduced the intake of research scholars this year. To qualify to do research, the candidates have to score 40 out of 100 marks.
“It has brought down the revenue of the Centre for Research and hence it has increased the fees,” sources added. While defending the fee increase, Anna University officials said, “We need to pay USD 100 for the foreign examiner to evaluate the thesis. The university also needs to bear the travel expenses of experts in the doctoral committees.”
The university has regularised the PhD admissions, thesis evaluation and conducting viva for the candidates recently.
“The regulations mandate us to include two experts from other universities
and national laboratories in the doctoral committee. It has to meet three or
four times during the course of research and we need more money,” officials said.