High number of PhD candidates puts pressure on BU infrastructure

Profs believe 'dilution' of admission procedure led to surge

High number of PhD candidates puts pressure on BU infrastructure

The Bangalore University has witnessed a surge in the number of candidates for enrolment to PhD courses. So much so that this year, the number of research guides available in the university is far too inadequate for the number of research candidates.

Consider the situation in the Physics department, for instance.

The subject is always much in demand, even at the postgraduate level. This year, there has been an overwhelming number of research candidates qualifying for PhD in this department. According to Dr Ramakrishna Damle, chairperson, Department of Physics, as many as 75 candidates qualified for the admissions, as against a vacancy of 51.

Further, postgraduate students and the research candidates in this department are almost equal in number. There are 90 MSc students. In addition to the existing 40 research students, another 40 admissions have been made this year. In another instance, there are 70 candidates in the postgraduate section in bio-technology and an equal number of PhD candidates.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, university Vice-Chancellor Prof B Thimme Gowda said there has been a rush for research work in bio-technology and microbiology. There has also been a huge rush for Arts subjects such as history, economics, law, physical education and political science. Admissions have gone up for research work in Kannada too.

According to the Vice-Chancellor, this surge in demand is a result of having made PhD mandatory for job promotions in educational institutions.

‘Admission process diluted’

Professors in the university departments counter this view. They attribute this to “dilution” of admission procedure. For, until last year, students were admitted to PhD based solely on their performance in the entrance test.

But this year, the university has considered 50 per cent of marks in the entrance exam and an equal percentage of marks in the postgraduate exam as eligibility criteria. If the candidates are able to score 50 per cent aggregate marks in the entrance and the PG level exam, they are eligible for PhD. There is no separate cut-off marks for the entrance exam.

Also, this time the university has allowed candidates with MPhil for non-entrance category admissions (candidates in this category can appear for seat counselling based on the marks of competitive exams like NET and SLET. Hence, they need not appear for the university’s entrance exam.

Several university professors felt that these changes to the admission procedure had diluted the process, leading to a surge in the number of eligible candidates.

Accommodating students

The university is at present unable to handle the candidate strength. Requesting anonymity, one of the professors in the university said: “The university departments and their labs are not equipped to handle this.

With such huge number of research students, the faculty will be burdened and will not be able to do justice to the candidates.”

Meanwhile, the university plans to authorise departments in some of its affiliated colleges (those with exceptional infrastructure) as research centres, over the next six months, hoping to accommodate candidates in these research centres.

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