Published: 01st August 2022
Protests pay off: OU releases PhD admissions notification for 2022; interview criteria retained
Students had launched a protest at OU demanding the release of the PhD notification, which had not been released since 2017 by the varsity
Osmania University (OU), Hyderabad has finally released the notification for admission into the PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering for the year 2022. The notification was released by the university on August 1. Application forms are now available on the official website of OU, www.osmania.ac.in.
Interestingly, the university has also stated that interviews for the candidates will be conducted at the offices of the respective Deans. It is to be recalled that students at the varsity had launched a protest against the university late last month, calling for a bandh on July 26. The students were upset with the fact that OU, which is one of Telangana's premier state varsity, had not released a notification for PhD admissions for the last five years. The last notification for admissions into PhD programmes was issued on the varsity's website in 2017. Additionally, they were contesting the University's alleged decision to do away with the interview criteria for admission.
As part of the protests, the students formed a Joint Admission Committee (JAC) at the university, with PhD aspirants leading the way. In a chat with EdexLive last month, the president of the JAC, Vislavath Ashok Naik, said, “The Vice-Chancellor has been delaying the admission notice for the last four years. In the first two years, the notice was delayed and not published. Then, there was COVID-19 for the last two years. And this year also there is no notice yet. All the students are asking for the admission notice to be immediately released.” He had insisted then that the students will continue protesting until the varsity releases the notification for PhD admissions.
The alleged decision to do away with the interviews for admission came to light when an official was quoted by Telangana Today saying, "When interviews for Group-I recruitment have been done away with, why can’t the PhD admissions be done without interviews? The plan is to do PhD admissions purely on the basis of the merit secured by candidates in the entrance examination. In addition, weightage to marks obtained by candidates during their UG and PG are also being examined to grant PhD admission. There will be no scope for favouritism towards certain students if interviews are removed.”
However, students did not take kindly to these reports and said that given the paucity of PhD seats in Telangana, with only OU and Kakatiya University being the two state universities with PhD programmes, options are limited for students as it is. They demanded that the National Eligibility Test and the State Eligibility Test-qualified criteria for obtaining the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) be retained as well from past notifications. The notification released today mentions that those who have been awarded the JRF under Category 1 will be eligible for the PhD programme.
In an attempt to explain the delay in the issue of PhD admission notification, OU's Vice-Chancellor Dr D Ravinder Reddy told EdexLive, “PhD isn’t an easy programme. The students have to do extensive research and only after five to six years they can be granted the PhD degree. Since it takes such a long time to complete, we have to wait for three to four years before we can take up a new PhD batch. The vacancies are also limited for PhD scholars in the departments. So previously, we took a bold decision to cancel the PhD admissions for two years. And then COVID-19 came, because of which there was education loss. The students are demanding that a notification be released. And we shall release the notice very soon.”