Only topics of national priority for PhD triggers row

A directive of the Central University of Kerala (CUK) that PhDs should be allowed only on topics of national priorities has triggered allegations of curtailing academic freedom. File photo for representation.

A directive of the Central University of Kerala (CUK) that PhDs should be allowed only on topics of national priorities has triggered allegations of curtailing academic freedom.

However, the university is adamant on its stand and maintains that there was no reason to rethink on the matter.

According to the circular issued by CUK, head-quartered at Kasargod in North Kerala, on March 13, in order to discourage research in 'irrelevant areas', when fellows are admitted for PhDs the topics for the thesis should be in accordance with the ‘national priorities’.

The circular issued by the university registrar with the approval of vice-chancellor G Gopa Kumar also directed the heads of departments to convene meetings of faculties to prepare a shelf of the project to be taken for research study pertaining to the subject considering national priorities. The student can opt from the shelf of the project, said the directive.

Former diplomat Mr T P Sreenivasan said that imposing any sort of restriction on the subjects of research was against the basic principle of researches.

"Researches are to gain knowledge. Hence researchers should be allowed to do research on any topic. Hence I strongly disagree with the CUK's circular", he told DH.

The Academics for Action Development said in a statement that the CUK circular amounted to regimentation on research and hence it should be withdrawn. The circular uses words like 'irrelevant' and 'national priority' for dictating the choice of research topics, which will pave the way for total governmental control. Such caging of universities cannot make us knowledge society and vishwa guru, for which the present government making tall claims. It now seems to be merely another slogan, said the statement.

CUK pro vice-chancellor K Jayaprasad said that there was an attempt to trigger an unnecessary controversy. "What we just mentioned was that PhD researches should be on topics that could benefit the society and the people. This is more important since the stipend are paid from the tax payers money," he said.

Meanwhile, a member of the CUK board of studies, Dr Meena T Pillai, had reportedly resigned from the board in protest against the circular.

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019


Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Liked the story?

  • 6

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 3

    Sad
  • 1

    Frustrated
  • 6

    Angry

Comments:

Only topics of national priority for PhD triggers row

0 comments

Write the first review for this !