In a move to encourage professionals working in agriculture related industry / laboratory / institute take up doctoral studies, the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University is offering External Ph.D. programmes from this academic year.

The basic eligibility is a four-year degree in agriculture and a post-graduation in agriculture or any other science. Professionals working in agriculture related industry can apply for the programme, without taking a leave of absence, and will be allowed to complete the Ph.D. in four or five years.

The guide has to be from the company / institute they work for. He has to fulfil the standard criteria required for a Ph.D. guide. The university will also appoint a faculty as co-guide.

“Professionals with a graduate or post-graduate degree in agriculture retire at the age of 58. The university can make use of their expertise in teaching and guiding research during their post-retirement phase by way of offering them re-employment possibilities. This will be made easy if they are Ph.D. holders. Hence, the university has introduced this programme,” Vice-Chancellor of TNAU K. Ramasamy told The Hindu here on Thursday.

Terming this initiative as part of the measures to reorient the system of education, Mr. Ramasamy said that this will also address the problem of shortage of faculty.

Admissions are open and the response so far has been good. Since the applicants would pursue the doctoral programmes from their respective work areas, there was no restriction on the number that would be accepted for the programme, he added.