Staff Reporter

TIRUNELVELI: A student refused to take her degree during the 16th convocation at the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University on Tuesday. M. Brintha handed over a petition to Governor and Chancellor Surjit Singh Barnala before getting down from the dais. The reason she cited for not receiving the degree to the police, who whisked her away: “While I did my Ph.D. in Zoology, the certificate says that I had done my research in Coastal Aquaculture.”

After completing M.Phil. in 1999, she registered for Ph.D. the same year at the Centre for Marine Sciences and Technology, MSU’s satellite centre at Rajakkalmangalam in Kanyakumari district, and submitted her thesis in 2005.

“Though the foreign external examiner assessed the thesis within six months from the date of submission, it was reviewed by the Indian external examiner only recently, and a month ago, I received a provisional certificate from the university, which stated that I’d completed the research in commerce. After the matter was taken up with the officials concerned, I received another certificate. This time the certificate said I’d done my Ph.D. in Coastal Aquaculture, while my subject was Zoology. All my efforts to get things right went in vain as the university officials refused to cooperate. I have given the petition to the Governor,” complained Ms. Brintha, who has got an offer to work as a faculty member in the University of Middlesex. “After I could not get my degree in time, I had to resign my job with the Department of Biotechnology, Dubai University. Now, my second job is also at stake.”

When Mr. Barnala met the student after the convocation, he assured her that he would look into the issue immediately.