Published: 06th February 2023
Once again, Tamil Nadu produces most number of PhD graduates
Uttar Pradesh comes second in the list by awarding 2,217 PhD degrees while Karnataka and Delhi stand in the third and fourth position
Tamil Nadu has once again produced the highest number of PhD holders in the country, according to the All-India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) report for 2020-21, which was released by the Union Human Resources Development Ministry recently. The state has produced 3,206 PhD doctorates in the academic year 2020-21, of which, 1,493 are female and 1,713 are male research scholars.
Uttar Pradesh comes second in the list by awarding 2,217 PhD degrees while Karnataka and Delhi stand in the third and fourth position by producing 2,125 and 2,055 PhD graduates respectively, as stated in a report by The New Indian Express.
Drop in PhD candidates
Though Tamil Nadu tops the list this year too, the number of PhD graduates has been coming down in the state over the years, and the trend is the same across the country. As per the AISHE report 2019-2020, Tamil Nadu produced 5,324 PhD students, out of which 2,768 were female and 2,556 were male students and had topped the category. In 2018-19, the state produced 5,844 PhD holders.
This comes in the backdrop of 2.1% drop in Tamil Nadu's Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education. The 2020-21 report states that the GER stands at 46.9%, while in 2019-20 it was 49%. However, Tamil Nadu continues to have the highest GER in the country, even as the national GER increased to 27.3% in 2020-21, from 25.6%.
Academicians have attributed the trend of drop in PhD graduates mainly to a lack of adequate job opportunities and focus by institutes to produce quality PhD work over quantity.
"After completing PhD, most of the students want to pursue academic jobs but there are hardly enough opportunities. Teaching posts are lying vacant in large numbers in universities, but recruitment is never done timely and properly. Upset over the scenario, not many are opting for PhD degrees," said Avinashilingam University Chancellor SP Thyagarajan.
The vice-chancellor of a state university said in the last two-three years, state universities have brought in some stringent rules like publication in reputed journals and strengthening the examination panel to ensure that good quality PhD work is produced from the institution and this could also be a reason for the drop in figures. "Universities are focusing on producing quality work over quantity. Moreover, there has been a nationwide decline in the PhD awardees in 2020-21," said the VC.