Monday, August 13, 2018

Is enrolling graduates directly to PhD a wise move

IIMs plan to take graduates directly into their PhD programmes, which will benefit research. Would this create more researchers or decline quality of research.

There should be no distinction

In reality, we are seeking no change with respect to the substantive aspects of our programme. Our Fellow Programme in Management (for which we want to award the PhD) has always admitted those who have done professional courses or four-year bachelor’s degree, along with those who have done their master’s. This has always benefitted our research quality. However, the ministry needs to give a clear mandate on this. Such a clarification from the Ministry will benefit the research students.

G Raghuram, director, IIM Bangalore

Time saving
The idea is to reduce the time of research for students. If a student is clear that he wants to pursue research after undergraduate, then it is better to enrol in PhD programmes directly after graduation. The programme ensures that the student completes his master’s and research through the integrated programme having less time frame. We started similar programme at IIT Madras, a decade ago, but the enrolment was low. But, in 2012-2013, when we opened the programme for non-IIT students, we noticed a rise in the enrolment.

Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT Madras

The idea may backfire

As a PhD student, I do understand how painstakingly patient one has to finish the PhD. While the introduction of the course would be a blessing for a lot of students, who want a career linking academia and research, but there is high chance of the entire idea getting backfired. Not many institutions provide right exposure or training at the bachelor level. PhD thesis takes a lot of hard work and planning, which takes time. One needs to verify the statements in the books, experiments fail at time, and the idea becomes non-feasible. Someone somewhere in the world can come up with something strikingly similar to your work. A PhD scholar needs to tackle all this and more.

Shivani, Project associate, TERI Deakin Nanobiotech centre

Duration should be over 4 years

The quality of the research depends on the topic one chooses for their PhD and the guidance by their mentor. Pursuing PhD requires state-of-art infrastructure, experienced faculty, research material and commitment by the researcher. The move to allow bachelor’s to pursue PhD will be beneficial if they pursue it for over four years.

Bhupendra Joshi, senior scientist, Pharma industry

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