HoDs who ignore ‘recommendations' drawn into false cases
Recommendations from politicians and messages from university higher-ups are deciding the Ph.D seats in Osmania University even as meritorious candidates fume.
In several departments ‘leaders’ force themselves to be admitted, and the heads who do not fall in line with the threats or who ignore the ‘recommendation messages’ are either assaulted by interested student groups or drawn into false cases. Allegations are numerous that the University authorities, who are supposed to rescue the teachers, are encouraging such students to buy peace with them.
Heads of various departments and deans have alleged that they have been getting messages on mobiles with the names of students to be accommodated from the Vice Chancellor’s office on the admission list. Most of these recommended candidates are student leaders of various political parties or groups that hold sway over the campus. Such is the pressure that Deans have now refused to release the admission lists fearing attacks.
The Osmania University Teachers’ Association (OUTA) alleged that the Vice Chancellor succumbed to the pressures of politicians and their acolytes and has forced them to deviate from the norms.
The craze for Ph.D seats has suddenly increased due to the financial security that research scholars get at least for five years. According to estimates, each Ph.D scholar gets around Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 25,000 per month in the form of fellowships. Candidates of the neglected communities get the Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship of the UGC, while minority candidates get the Moulana Abul Kalam Azad Fellowships. General candidates get a UGC fellowship of Rs. 14,000 in addition to other emoluments.
Such lucrative package is guaranteed for almost five years once the admission is done and why would students want to lose it? Though there are some conditions like the progress of research attached to renewal of fellowships seldom they are used by the authorities. Moreover, Ph.D is must for all teaching jobs now, and with new universities and new posts candidates see a good chance of grabbing them.
The demand has also increased ever since admission rules for Ph.D changed two years ago when the UGC made entrance test mandatory. Earlier, admissions were based on M.Phil or publication of two articles in recognized journals. According to the new norms, candidates with JRF get the first priority followed by the M.Phil degree holders and the top scorers in the entrance test.
Low qualifying mark in the admission test ensures that everyone gets qualified and claim a seat. The qualifying mark for general students is 40, while it is 30 for BCs and for SC and STs it is 15 marks. The interview part of the admission process is managed by the ‘leaders’ and easy marks there is the clincher. In addition, favourable messages from the higher-ups help their cause.
In fact, officials were strict with the valuation of the 2010 Ph.D admission test and only a few were qualified leading to attack on the examination office. Rather than taking action officials reduced the qualifying mark ensuring all those who matter qualified. Entrance test this year was free of violence as officials decided to qualify almost everyone.
Such liberal valuation and unreasonable support from university higher-ups to the ‘leaders’ and the ‘influential’ has made the Ph.D admissions a mockery, feel the teachers.