UGC circular on assigning supervisors sparks confusion among students

UGC circular on assigning supervisors sparks confusion among students

Submitted by alvin on Sat, 2016-02-20 17:40 Bengaluru: New recommendations issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) has led to fresh confusion among students.The UGC in a circular (www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/) has asked universities not to recommend/assign supervisors to research scholars who are not part of the regular faculty at universities. Bfirst spoke to several students, who appeared to be confused over the new recommendations.A student, on condition of anonymity, said the supervisor allotted to him had retired and no more a regular faculty. “I am worried over the new circular. When we enquired about this, authorities’ response was not satisfactory. We are not even able to represent ourselves to the UGC now,” said the student. The circular issued by the UGC on its website says, “It has come to the notice of UGC that some universities are hiring the services of supervisors who do not happen to be the regular teachers of the universities or its affiliated PG/Colleges Institutes awarding M.Phil, Ph.D Degree. This practice in violation of UGC (Minimum standards and procedure for award of M.Phil/Ph.D degree) Regulations 2009.”The circular further said, “Universities shall allocate the supervisor from amongst the regular faculty members in a department or its PG colleges/institutes depending on the number of students per faculty member, the available specialization among the faculty supervisors and the research interest of the student. It is further clarified that any Ph.D/M.Phil degree awarded by a University under the supervision of a supervisor who is not a faculty member of the University or its affiliated PG College/Institutes would be in violation of UGC (Minimum standards and procedure for award of M.Phil/Ph.D)regulations, 2009”. The circular makes it explicit that any Ph.D and/M.Phil awarded to a scholar under the supervision of a supervisor who is not faculty member will be held in violation of UGC guidelines. This is where the confusion starts for the students.A research scholar from the University of Mysore told Bfirst that he had no problem with the new regulations. “But universities should ensure that supervisors guide around 17 (15 2) research scholars but right now they are supervising only 14 (6 8). If the guides are capable of supervising more number of research scholars, then there will be no problem,” he said.Another research scholar from Gulbarga Central University said, “I welcome these regulations, but the universities should ensure that no harm is done to the students who are already doing research. But this regulation is still confusing.”A female research scholar from Mangalore University, on condition of anonymity, told Bfirst that she was surprised over the new regulations. “I am not able to understand the new regulations. We have been provided guides from the University itself. Now, they have issued this guidelines. It’s very confusing. Many of my friends are pursuing their research under supervisors who are retired,” she said.Following the confusion over the regulations, KS Rangappa, Vice-Chancellor, University of Mysore, asked students not to worry over the issue. “This will not affect students who are doing research since we are not permitting any guides who are not regular faculty. If any research scholar have been supervised by professors who have since retired, they do not have to worry,” he said.K Bhairappa, Vice-Chancellor, Mangalore University, also asked students not to panic. “Students pursuing their research should not worry,” said Bhairappa. “We give permission to professors supervising research scholars in colleges after verifying their history and as per the norms of the UGC. It also applies to research centres coming under various universities.” Speaking to Bfirst.in, Prof AH Rajasaab, Vice-Chancellor, Tumkur University, said universities usually recommend only regular and recognised faculties. “I do not think there are such cases in my university. If any student has any problem, they can represent themselves before the university and the UGC. But as this circular has come from the UGC, there can be no such violations in the future,” said the V-C.When Bfirst.in contacted UGC’s regional office in Bengaluru, officials said they do not have authority to speak to the media.