IN LESS than a month of issuing a notification, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has received close to 150 proposals for conducting a study on ‘The quality of PhD theses in Indian universities’, Dr Bhushan Patwardhan, vice-chairman of the UGC, told The Indian Express.
The higher education regulator had issued a public notice on May 21, inviting proposals for commissioning the study, keeping in view that India was lagging behind in research and quality of journals.
“It is a good sign that people are interested in studying ground realities. This will also help us understand the real quality of our theses, where the gaps are and what can be done for improvement…” said Patwardhan, adding that all the proposals will be analysed by expert committees and the best will be awarded the study, the duration of which is six months.
Patwardhan said the selection will depend on methodology, competency, experience and overall planning. “We will be doing the work of selecting a proposal rapidly, within two to three weeks. We have received applications from different institutes such as IITs, universities, voluntary organisations and individuals. This is one of our outreach initiatives…Rather than the UGC working in isolation, we want people to be involved in various activities,” he said.
He added, “We may think of awarding the study to more people, so that they may form a team, follow a common study protocol and work in different regions or discipline-wise so that the work is completed faster. The expert committee is expected to be formed next week. For now, we are consolidating reports and tabulating them.”