Published: 01st December 2021
Cannot do much with an extension without scholarships, say PhD, MPhil scholars about UGC's extension of deadlines
Students claim dropout rates have spiked because of the want of funds amongst scholars, as most of them were deprived of resources to conduct research during the pandemic
The University Grants Commission, on December 1, released a notification extending the deadlines for submission of theses by PhD and MPhil scholars by six months, to June 30, 2022. The extension applies to students whose date of submission of theses, or evidence of publication, and presentation is before June 30, 2022.
However, students aren't all that chuffed about this decision from the UGC. Taking to Twitter, a PhD scholar from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Dipshita Dhar said, "While it's welcoming that the extension for submission of PhD, MPhil is granted, what about the scholarship? It doesn't not make any sense why scholarship tenure won't be extended" (sic).
While it's welcoming that the extension for submission of Phd M.phil is granted, but what about the scholarship? It doesn't not make any sense why scholarship tenure won't be extended? #extendscholarship pic.twitter.com/Szh247GWBU— Dipsita (@DharDipsita) December 1, 2021
"During the COVID period, research students have faced unparalleled difficulties. Large sections of the research scholars could not move forwards with the research activities. Facilities in the universities could not be used because the universities were closed," said Mayukh Biswas, General Secretary of the Students' Federation of India (SFI) and PhD fellow at the University of Calcutta. And while students claim that delay in granting scholarships has been an old problem with the UGC, this particular scenario has been exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where survival had taken precedence over research.
"Students from marginalised communities and genders are being forced to drop out because they do not have scholarships. They simply couldn't sustain their extension and education here in JNU. Who can afford to stay in a city like Delhi for so many years and sustain education without financial support from the government or the institution?" asks Aishe Ghosh, an MPhil student at JNU and President of the JNU Students' Union.
This has led to an alarming rise in the dropout rate amongst PhD and MPhil students, she claims, adding that from the School of International Relations at JNU, 20 to 30 scholars have deregistered from their PhD, whereas about 5 to 10 students have dropped out from their MPhil course, citing lack of funds.
Edexlive has reached out to the UGC for a remark on the matter and this copy will be updated when we hear from them.