Towards better research standards

The beginning of our studying or college fills in us certain hopes, dreams, aspirations for ourselves and makes us realize the place where we want to see ourselves in the future.

Some of us are laid back while others more dynamic are on a constant run to prove themselves. Everyone tries to achieve the best of what they can. But what happens when you come to know that you’ve spent years working hard for a degree which is not valid? That your hard work has gone in vain to feed some money-hungry officials who care least about the standards of education and legal rules and regulations.
The highest level of education one can attain is certainly a doctorate. A doctorate is an academic or a professional degree that qualifies a person to teach at the university level.

The most common, well-known and appreciated doctorate is the Doctor of Philosophy or PhD There are a wide number of institutions and universities running all across India providing PhD degrees, and their main objective is to develop an individual’s mind intellectually so that they can explore new problems and solutions and contribute in their fields. But are all of these universities providing the most sought after degree really legal and do they hold any value?

PhD is a degree which defines an individual’s competence and excellence in research and knowledge. It offers an opportunity for the individual to teach as a university professor and be called as a “Doctor” of his/ her field.

The number of institutions offering PhD programs and degrees are steadily increasing and the first point that comes to mind is that if all these institutions are maintaining a certain quality in their research work.

The quantity never justifies the quality. Though the number of institutes are increasing by leaps and bounds, the level of quality is not.

There are primarily three types of universities in India. First, Central Universities, that are established and run by Ministry of HRD and Government Of India; second, State University and lastly Deemed Universities. Deemed Universities are institutes who have enough resources and capacity to run programs efficiently.

Most of these are private universities and some are government established. The government established universities like IITs, IIMs etc have a well known reputation and are characterized by high level of competition.

A lot of private universities have also earned acknowledgement and appreciation in their manner of functioning. Some of these deemed universities are so well-established that their fee goes up to Rs 25 lakhs while some others charge Rs.7,000-8,000.

The wide gap in the fee structure facilitates providing opportunities for students of all classes and helps expanding the research base in India.

It is pretty startling that UGC/ CSIR which are the apex bodies have set no rules, regulations or defined standards to check research. Most students involve into plagiarism and other activities which results in an intelligent reproduction of previously studied matter more than application of one’s own ideas, skills, knowledge and research.

If we really want to see the level of our research to be competent and globally acknowledged, we need to set some rules and standards for the work and evaluation.
We have a lot of good universities and the level of PhD at many of these universities is at par with those abroad, however there is a need to improvise the level of less-competent institutions as well.

Another thing that can be done is involve a few foreign supervisors who can help in proper evaluation of the research work. It is very important to take a strict action and introduce quality check for thesis completion to reduce and remove the deterioration of the research work that has been happening. It is necessary to provide PhD degrees which are considered globally competent.

With new trends emerging, Indian economy is showing signs of opening new opportunities for research and development which will push the level of our PhD from better to the best.

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