In Complete violation of UGC norms for PhD courses, the Punjab Technical University (PTU) has allegedly been allowing candidates to complete their mandatory six-month course work in their respective colleges while in some institutes under the university, non-PhD teachers have been taking classes for students pursuing post-doctoral degrees.
As per norms prescribed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for PhD courses in 2009, universities that award PhD degrees have to ensure that candidates complete six months of their course work at the concerned university campus. PTU, on the other hand, does not have a campus and to overcome this problem has designated certain colleges as regional centres that have been authorised to conduct the PhD course work. University authorities, however, have been allowing candidates to complete the six month course in their respective colleges than in the regional centres.
“Classes are not being conducted even in the regional centres and are virtually happening in the respective colleges and institutes. All UGC norms are being flouted,” a student pursuing PhD from PTU in Ludhiana, on the condition of anonymity, said.
Further, as per UGC norms, if a teacher wants to pursue a PhD, he or she has to take leave for 6 months and, in case of colleges under PTU, then visit the authorised regional centre to complete their post-doctoral course work. PTU authorities, however, have been allowing such teachers to complete their course-work at their own colleges without sanctioning them leave. “Teachers of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology pursuing PhD are taking classes with post graduate students in GNIMT itself without taking leave. They are not even completing the research norms of UGC and their marks and attendance are sent to PTU by fellow teachers who themselves are not PhD holders and PTU is sanctioning them degrees,” said a source from GNIMT. The regional centre prescribed for Ludhiana is the Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College but course work is being conducted at GNIMT itself.
PTU Vice-Chancellor Dr Rajneesh Arora, while responding to an email from The Indian Express, stated: “Classes are running as per UGC norms in our colleges.” Dr A P Singh, the dean of research and innovation consultancy at PTU, also denied that classes were being held in colleges and not in the regional centres.
The director of GNIMT, Colonel H S Singha, however, admitted that the institute was conducting PhD course-work on its premises. “Yes we are running unofficial PhD classes for our own teachers in GNIMT. The regional centre does not have proper arrangements,” Singha said.
Educationalists are warning that UGC could cancel these degrees any time. Dr Karamjit Singh, professor at Panjab University, Chandigarh, said: “PTU is making a mockery of the system and this is illegal. As per norms, a minimum of 135 hours needs to be devoted to three papers.” The former dean of research at Punjabi University (Patiala), Dr S S Tiwana, added: “This is completely wrong and such degrees are useless.”