The state government has forwarded a list of government schemes to universities in the state for conducting research on them. The topics that have been suggested for PhD are Garib Kalyan Mela, Mukhyamantri Amrutam (MA) Yojana, Gunotsava, Kanya Kelavani and Gandhi Swachchata Mission etc.
A senior official in the state higher education department said the idea behind suggesting topics for PhD is to ensure critical evaluation of the government programmes so as to know if these were beneficial to the people at large or what deficiencies were there in their implementation. “This will help the government in removing the weaknesses in those programmes and make them more useful,” said the official. Gujarat University vice-chancellor M N Patel said: “We have received the topics from the government. We have also held one round of preliminary meeting on it and another meeting on it is to be held shortly with education department officials as also the state education minister.” Veer Narmad South Gujarat University VC Dkashesh Thakar said that his university had also received a list of the topics from the state government.
The government’s suggestion has found favour with several academicians and existing and retired vice-chancellors. Gujarat Technological University (GTU) vice-chancellor Akshai Aggarwal, welcoming the suggestion, said: “We should conduct research on topics relevant to the society and industry.”
He said that most of the research so far was done on topics having theoretical value but no practical significance. “This was the waste of time and resources,” he said, adding “evaluation of government schemes by our own universities is a step in the right direction.”
Stating that government’s direction on research topics was only a suggestion and not a compulsion, Gujarat University’s retired VC Parimal Trivedi said: “A critical evaluation of government programmes will help in removing shortcomings and do better in future.”
Saurashtra University’s retired VC Vidyut Joshi said: “There has been several criticial evaluation and analysis of government programmes like five-year plans as also MNREGA. So, there is nothing wrong in evaluation and conducting research on state government schemes.”
“Every student has the freedom to propose topics for PhD. Government schemes are worth PhD research, but only if the research is conducted independently,” said Aashir Mehta, an economics professor at MSU. Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said the “government should not decide the subjects for research”.
(With PTI Inputs)