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Substandard doctorates won’t do

National Knowledge Commission Chairman Sam Pitroda’s concern about the neglect of research is timely. Admittedly, the country’s higher academic system is lagging behind in attracting bright minds. Except a few institutions, the system has not been able to create the desired work culture, scientific temper and academic environment.

Most of these institutions are starved of funds, infrastructure and qualified faculty. They give no decent pay, incentives to scientists and provide inadequate career enhancing opportunities. In such an environment, bright scholars fail to achieve professional satisfaction and excellence and drift from higher academic goals towards other lucrative sectors.

Consequently, shortage of qualified faculty is increasing, hindering the expansion of elite institutions. A holistic approach, adequate policy intervention and major reforms are needed to revitalise the system from the primary to university level.

Dr M.S. BAJWA, Mohali


The research scholars are discouraged to differ with the existing patterns of thoughts and are encouraged intriguingly to win their degrees by endorsing what others have repeatedly said.

I share Sam Patroda’s concern that we are lagging behind China in producing meaningful and promising doctors who can lead the nation academically and philosophically.

The traditional way of obtaining a doctorate degree must go. Those who are awarded Ph.Ds must have international standards of knowledge, really articulate and superbly argumentative. But purchased degrees or substandard ones won’t help any national cause.



The reasons for the poor quality of Ph.D degrees from Haryana are lack of vision among investigators and teacher guides including a tendency for plagiarism and compounded by intellectual dishonesty. Doing research on a topic already covered becomes meaningful only when new aspects are revealed and new interpretations become tangible.

The peers in the institutions of higher education and learning must devise ways to revise the research methodology and do a vigorous literature-research before accepting a subject for new research. A thesis should not end up as compilations, but scholarly interpretation.

Regrettably, most teacher guides that held senior positions on the faculty of Hindi literature and language in universities and colleges in Haryana were not competent in assessing various aspects of the state’s folk literature.

I suggest that one of the peers must be a renowned Indologist from a foreign university/ institution. Otherwise, most research work in future will end up only in wastage. If Ph.D degrees continue to be of a poor quality, the teaching and research will suffer.


India & Obama

Can India have an Obama? The question assumes importance in view of the prejudicial mental make-up that civil societies in both India and the US countries are afflicted with. But curiously enough, K. Subrahmanyam, while analysing why there cannot be an Obama in India, has overlooked the caste system.

Social inequality is not confined to India alone but in countries like Rome, the UK, Germany and South Africa. This divided society into higher and lower, respectable and despised. It is a truism that while the walls of separation, real or perceived, between the people are crumbling down in other countries, casteism is rampant in India. It is birth and not the worth that rules the destinies of Indians.

It is time right-thinking people created conditions for the socially ostracised people to reach the top.

K.C. SULEKH, Chandigarh

Quality education a mirage

My recent term-end exams were an eye-opener and reprehensible account of dismal state of affairs in the country’s examination system. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) conducts exams in different colleges of universities and I was the candidate from Government Degree College of Bilaspur (HP).

Thanks to the lukewarm attitude of the supervisory staff, candidates’ mobile phones were ringing in the examination hall. Even teachers on invigilation duty were not present all the time till the exam ended. Sitting arrangement was bad. Copying was allowed.

Poor management of the college administration also desires attention. IGNOU’s printed material is of exceptional quality but the university should also monitor the examination process and strict guidelines should be issued to the colleges and surprise visit teams should put a check on the offenders. The government should give priority to the base line conditions rather than advocating quality education which seems a distant dream.




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