Published: 01st October 2019
Why skipping an MTech and doing a PhD directly could scuttle your teaching dreams in India
Many universities in the country require its faculty to possess a master's degree along with a PhD. Since this is the norm, the IIT Council's suggestion that they skip the MTech may be premature
While justifying the IIT Council's plan to hike the MTech fees in IITs, IIT Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao had argued that students who wish to be academics can directly join an IIT and do their PhD, without needing to do an MTech. However, in many universities in the country, these students find it difficult to work as teachers or academics, as the criteria set down by the UGC requires them to have a master's degree.
Arun* recalls how he always wanted to be an academic and had decided to pursue his research even during the early years of his BTech (Hons) from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University. A year after graduating, he qualified in the CSIR examination and joined a university as a research scholar.
However, things took a turn in a different direction when he applied for the post of an Assistant Professor at the University of Delhi. The appointments in the university are based upon a point system, where one has to score a minimum of 75 points. Despite performing quite well, Arun could only get 60 points. The reason? A master's degree here has a weightage of 25 points.
In order to qualify, Arun has to do his MTech, despite having a PhD. Otherwise, he must have five years of Post-Doctoral or teaching experience. "I always wanted to be an academic. Even as a student, I'd go to the nearby slums and teach the children there. So, when I qualified through the CSIR exam, I was quite elated. However, I didn't know that this will be the outcome," says Arun, who is currently a temporary faculty member in DTU.
DU's faculty appointment is based on a point system. Here, one who scores above 80 per cent in their graduation gets 15 points, MPhil and NET with JRF adds 7 each, PhD adds 30, research publications add another 10, Teaching/Post-Doc experience of five years add 10 and awards add 2 or 3 points. On the other hand, a master's degree gives you 25 points.
"I do not know what to do now. It is illogical to do an MTech after my PhD. But if I had it, I would have gotten 85 points," says Arun. "Also, even if I go for a Post-Doc, I'd get only 10 points after five years. I still wouldn't qualify. Here, students are forced to do an MTech," he says. Apart from DU, he also tried applying to Malviya National Institute of Technology and NIT Kurukshetra, but these institutes too had a similar requirement.
We wrote to the IITD Director seeking comment on the same. While he acknowledges the existence of the issue, he says that "IITs don't have an issue with it." He'd also promised Arun that he would forward his case to the UGC and the AICTE.
We have wrote an email to the AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe seeking his comments. He said, " In many universities candidates who have done PhD straight after BTech were not considered for appointment as faculty members, although AICTE has no problem with this, but, the UGC norms did not permit this. Now UGC has also been informed about PMRF and such other bright students who do PhD after BTech need to be considered and UGC is seized of this matter and very soon a decision will be taken."
*This copy was updated after the AICTE Chairman commented