Indore: If you are thinking of pursing doctoral degree programme from Indian Institute of Technology Indore, think again.
The Indore elite institute’s rules for PhD programme are different from the rules being followed by other institutions of higher learning in the country. You may not only find them tougher but also bizarre.
For instance, while all the UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Awards of MPhil and PhD Degree, 2016) rules stipulate the criteria for award of PhD if candidate has one publication in peer reviewed journal along with at least two papers presented in national or international seminars/conferences, the IIT Indore seeks at least three publications in reputed journals.
The institute’s defence for it is that 95 percent of students were able to publish two papers during the approximately five years of PhD course. So, the bar has been raised to three publications.
“That’s a weird justification. We seek to know if 95 percent of students get 50 marks, would you set pass mark to 60 so that 95 per cent cannot pass?,” said a research scholar of IIT Indore wishing anonymity.
Another scholar stated that the Institute had raised the paper publication criteria from two to three publications in peer reviewed SCI indexed journals in 2016.
The provision for publications in international conferences being considered for award of PhD was removed in the amendment to the PhD rules and regulations issued in 2017.
“Though the institute’s board had repealed the 2017 rules and regulations on the grounds that it required further study, the regulations were re-issued in November 2019 with no changes in the publication criteria and with the rider that in “exceptional cases”, the 3 paper publication criteria may be relaxed by the Senate chairman,” he added.
“The minutes of the 18th Senate meeting of the institute justify the move observing that two paper publications criteria should not be set on the basis that 95 per cent of students are able to publish two research papers during the course of their PhD,” he went on to add.
It was also learnt that the IIT Indore has amended the criteria for award of PhD with retrospective effect for students who had taken admission to the institute before such rule was promulgated.
Earlier, the papers presented at international conferences used to count for PhD, but since the amendments, they no longer count.
Besides, IIT Indore in violation of norms laid down by ministry of human resource development (MHRD), gives scholarship to PhD students only for four years instead of five.
The institute justifies this move by saying it was taken in the interest of PhD students.
“In order to ensure every PhD student completes their thesis in a timely manner maintaining minimum standard criteria and that no PhD student loses their precious formative post-PhD career unnecessarily, the senate resolved to make the maximum duration of PhD scholarship four years,” a professor said wishing anonymity.
Research Scholars of India national coordinator Nikhil Gupta said, “We have received several complaints regarding rules and regulations amended solely to cause discomfort and problems and to ensure that students do not complete their degrees smoothly. We believe there needs to be parity between all IITs for PhD criteria to main quality. We are monitoring the issue and will be forwarding it shortly to MHRD."
IIT Indore public relation officer Rahul Sharma could not be reached for his comment over the issues.
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