Published: 17th March 2019
Choose PhD topics on issues of national priority from pre-approved list, Central University of Kerala tells researchers
The Central University of Kerala has decided to implement the decision to create their own topics for research and students will be allowed to choose from this list
The Central University of Kerala has issued a circular directing research students to choose topics that are in accordance with 'national priorities'. According to the circular the faculty has been instructed to prepare a 'shelf of projects' for the students to choose from. This is to 'discourage research in irrelevant subjects', the circular said.
The circular issued on March 15 states that the decision was taken after a meeting of the Vice Chancellors. The circular gives out two instructions — to discourage research in irrelevant areas, when fellows are being admitted for PhDs, the topics for the PhD should be in accordance with national priorities and alloting privilege topics to PhD students should be dispensed with. Secondly, the circular states that all the Heads of the Departments should convene a meeting with all the faculty members and prepare a shelf of projects to be taken for research study. The students can opt from this shelf of projects.
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The circular has received a lot of criticism. Students are claiming that they cannot be told what to and what not to research. Faculty have also come forward to criticize the move and saying students cannot possibly always choose topics that are considered a national priority.
Kunhi Krishnan, who is pursuing his first year of PhD at CUK is worried about whether he would be asked to change the topic that he has chosen — Adivasi land issues. "I don't know if it falls under the category of national priority. I wonder if they will ask me to change it now. In fact, a lot of students from our university choose topics related to Dalit issues. So do they want us to stop researching on these topics?" questioned Krishnan.
Krishnan also criticised the administration for allegedly leaning towards the RSS ideology, "This is their way of saffronising our campus. We cannot allow them to implement this decision. We have been receiving support even from outside the campus from students and faculty, they simply cannot impose the rule on us," he said.