Published: 10th May 2022
UGC extends deadline for PhD/MPhil thesis submission for the fifth time. Here's what's different
The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns had put a stopper on the students' lab and fieldwork, and put them under extreme pressure to complete their PhD work, claimed AIOBCSA
In some relief for PhD students whose research has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has now approved an extension of six months beyond June 30, 2022, for the submission of their MPhil or PhD thesis.
The UGC has been granting these extensions for students to submit their thesis ever since the pandemic first broke in 2020. The first extension of six months was given in June 2020 and has been further extended ever since. The last extension was in December 2021, making this latest announcement the fifth such extension since June 2020.
The extension this time will be awarded to students after a review of their work by the respective educational institutions on a "case-to-case" basis, said UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar in a statement on Twitter. The UGC, in its notice, said that the students' work will be reviewed by the Research Advisory Committee and the extension would be granted on the recommendation of the supervisor and the Head of the Department to which the student belongs.
In view of lost time during COVID period, UGC approves that HEIs may give an extension of up to six months beyond 30 June 2022 for M.Phil./PhD. thesis submission on case-to-case basis after a review of student's work. pic.twitter.com/w1Ch20wmvb— Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar (@mamidala90) May 9, 2022
The extension has been demanded by student representatives vehemently. In April this year, a delegation of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) visited the UGC office to discuss a host of issues, among which the extension of the deadline for submission of the thesis was one. The UGC had said then that they were not against the extension but that the matter was under discussion.
The All India Other Backward Classes Students Association (AIOBCSA) had written a letter to the UGC Chairman on April 14, 2022, requesting an extension of one year in order to "help students produce quality research work that will have a direct impact on the university's academic excellence". They had said that students were under extreme pressure to complete their work due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and that the subsequent lockdowns had affected their lab and fieldwork.
While the AIOBCSA welcomed the six-month extension, they criticised the lack of universality in its application. "A case-to-case basis clause is a problematic approach because it leaves the possibility of the extension on the guide and the Head of the Department. There is a chance that some of them might reject genuine cases also. Universal application of the extension might have helped all research scholars who are in need," said National President for AIOBCSA, Kiran Kumar.
ABVP welcomes UGC decision of allowing further extension of up to 6 months for thesis submission of M.Phil./PhD scholars because of lost time during COVID period. Researchers who require more time to complete their research with desired results will get relief from this decision.— ABVP (@ABVPVoice) May 9, 2022
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) also hailed the decision to extend the deadline for PhD/MPhil submissions. Taking to Twitter, the RSS-affiliated organisation said, "ABVP welcomes the UGC's decision of allowing further extension of up to 6 months for thesis submission of MPhil/PhD scholars because of lost time during COVID period. Researchers who require more time to complete their research with desired results will get relief from this decision."