Published: 13th November 2020
MANIT Bhopal asks scholars to 'ask' permission before publishing papers: Researchers call it 'dictatorship'
The notice directed the HODs and Chairpersons of the Centres to inform the PhD students to seek permission from the Dean or the Director before they submit their research paper in journals
The Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), Bhopal, has asked its research scholars to ask for permission from the Dean or the Director before they publish their work in any journal. If they fail to do so the paper will not be considered as part of their thesis. While the authorities call it a way to enhance the CVs of the students, the researchers say this will only delay their research and some have even called it an "autocratic move by the Director".
The notice came from the Dean's (Academic) office on September 30, 2020. It directed the Head of the Departments and Chairpersons of the Centres to inform the PhD students to seek permission from the Dean (academic) or the Director before they submit their research paper in journals. Only the papers which have been ratified by the authorities will be considered for their PhD, it added. The students alleged that they have written to the Director asking him to withdraw this rule but have received no communication from his end.
The students said that this is a long drawn process and will delay their publications. "I finished my paper day before yesterday but I am still searching for a list of journals that I have to send to the Dean and the Director. They have asked for a list of journals out of which they will select one. I know where I want to publish my work but I am compelled to waste my time and search for alternatives. This is nothing but dictatorship," said a research scholar pursuing his PhD in the Mechanical Engineering Department.
But teachers claim that this decision was taken at a Senate meeting — where more than 60 professors agreed to this rule. "We only want what's best for the students. This will help them enhance their resume. They will have publications in a high-quality journal which is needed if they want a job in the IITs and NITs of the country," said Dr JL Bhagoria of the Mechanical Engineering Department. "I also agree with the student that it prolongs the process but it's for their own good," said the professor.
The students though are not quite ready to accept this prolonged process. "We already have the compulsion to publish in a journal which is listed in the Science Citation Index or Science Citation Index Expanded. Now they want us to apply in journals which have a high impact factor (how many times it is cited). That's a good intention but then they should also provide adequate infrastructure and funds for that. You cannot expect to provide the support and infrastructure of research with an impact factor of 0.25 and expect us to deliver papers with an impact factor of 10 or above," said another student.
The Joint Research Council of India, a students' body, wrote to the Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on November 12 with a request to withdraw the order. "This extra burden of prior permission will cause delay, and put our scholars on a backfoot. Hence, for the good of scientific progress of the country, such rules shouldn't be made, and we requested the withdrawal of such an order. This will increase the tenacity of the amount of research being conducted, and published without any further delay," said Vikrant Singh, President JRCI.