Wednesday, August 10, 2011

“Is Doctoral Degree A Decoration Or A Qualification?”- Professor M.S.Rao

“The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but a transference of bones from one graveyard to another.” - James Frank Dobie

There is a heated debate within the academia about doctoral degree (PhD) whether it is a qualification or a mere decoration. Now-a-days, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in India has made PhD mandatory for acquiring Professorship in educational institutions. In addition, PhD is an imperative for directorial positions and for the posts of principal. It has become a thorny issue for the people who hail from industrial and corporate background as they don’t possess PhD. However, they have rich corporate experience under their belt. As they are beset with their corporate pressures they don’t find academic ambience to pursue doctoral degree. In contrast, academicians who want to grow in academia pursue PhD comfortably as they are already in academic ambience. However, they don’t have corporate experience. Those who have passion to teaching give up their lucrative corporate careers and join academics. Unfortunately they are relegated to background in academia as they don’t have PhD despite having vast industrial experience and practical exposure.

Hence, those who want to progress in academic world are compelled to pursue PhD. And pursuing PhD is not an easy thing. There are so many challenges while pursuing PhD. I have seen few people who are highly capable with industrial experience leaving PhD in the initial stage itself due to non-cooperation from their guides and due to highly egoistic academicians.

Few mischievous guides in India exploit research scholars in the name of research. They deliberately delay the research process to draw more attention from their research scholars or seek some favors. Having fed up with mischievous research guides few research scholars have given up pursuing PhD forever. It is also observed that there are PhD holders who don’t have any academic stamina but bag doctoral degrees by manipulations. These days AICTE has made PhD mandatory for becoming professors and directors. Previously people with considerable industry background enjoyed the status of professorship. However, the recent tightening of noose by AICTE to possess PhD for becoming professors forced educators from industry background behind in academia.

Some of the research scholars help pile up their guides’ resumes with their publications. Some of the research scholars shell out their personal money to meet their guides’ miscellaneous expenses. Some guides compel their research scholars to spend money when they go for paper presentations. If research scholars don’t spend money their PhD will be delayed. Few unscrupulous guides in India have vitiated research and academic ambience for their selfish gains.

For few academicians who regularly sharpen their saws doing research for PhD and post doctoral degree, research is a passion. Such passionate academicians feel let down by unscrupulous guides who claim to the super persons with big egos and who have the habit of disagreeing what is produced and created by the research scholars.

I have seen few experts in academics having passion to acquire PhD and ultimately ended up without PhD due to such unscrupulous guides. Few guides think themselves as demigods and treat their research scholars with sadism thus leaving bad impression among the ambitious research scholars who have passion to make a difference in research and acquire PhD.

Unlike other post graduate qualifications that can be acquired through examinations where the evaluators don’t know who the examinees are, PhD is the one that has to be done with the supervision of guides. As a result, completion of PhD is in the sole hands of guide.

I have seen a woman faculty with strong academic credentials who was awarded as the best teacher from prestigious education institution pursuing her PhD in Indian education. The guide deliberately sent the thesis to a foreign country for evaluation and almost after a year the evaluators returned with comments that they are not experts in Indian education and commented that they will not evaluate the PhD thesis. The woman faculty was upset the way the guide deliberately did in this way thus delaying her PhD. She would have acquired PhD within 4 years and now it is almost 7 years and is still struggling with her PhD with her guide who happens to be a woman.

Few guides trouble their research scholars when the latter don’t meet their personal demands and expectations. Sometimes it could be money or writing papers for guides so that guides can publish on their names and take credit for publications.

If you want to grow academically you must possess PhD in most of the countries. Having PhD helps widen your research skills thus becoming a successful academician. However, the road to acquisition of PhD is a tough task with several challenges for research scholars especially in a country like India.

To conclude, acquisition of doctoral degree has become a decoration for industry experts, a qualification for academicians and a paper degree for passionate researchers in India.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

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1 comment:

Kris said...

absolutely true.. I do agree you and with the sour facts....