A student’s letter about a Supervisor.

A student’s letter about a Supervisor.

Dear all,

It is of great pleasure to see all of us united for a hike in fellowship movement. However, along with money crises, many of the research scholars are also facing another major problem in their PhD tenure. Many supervisors treat their research scholars like slaves, and they harass them mentally continually by using offensive words and scare them on the name of the degree. They even do not hesitate to cut the monthly stipend because we need their approval for monthly fellowships. Research scholars tolerate this regular mental harassment to earn the Ph.D. degree. However, with time many research scholars cannot bear this agony and often leave the degree in the middle. Some of the research scholars even leave the program in the fourth or fifth year when they should ideally finishing their degrees, and by this time, they are not eligible to apply other government exams as their age limit crosses the eligibility. Nevertheless, the supervisors are not concerned about their scholars since they will get another ‘slave’ in next semester. Therefore, grievance redressal cell dedicated to deal with research scholar’s issues should be created with independent and neutral members on all India basis.

Therefore, I request all of us; we should again unite and fight against this monotony in fact de facto academic dictatorship. We must get the chance to give feedback for our respective supervisors in every semester, and the input should not go only within the institutes but to the other Indian government, authorities as well. This is because, in the same institute, professors can be biased towards each other. Furthermore, Research output should be one of the primary criteria for the evaluation of professors and should be used for promotions.

There must be transparency regarding the feedback. The institute should release data showing how many students joined a particular supervisor, how many left in between, and how many completed the PhD degree.

In many institutes, PhD students are allotted to the supervisor without student consent. Therefore, there should be a mutual choice of both student and supervisor. Selected PhD students should be allowed to visit lab according to his/her interest and will approach to the respective faculty for supervising him/her. In this regard, common guidelines should be followed all over the country irrespective of the type of institutions.

Another critical issue in many of our Institutes is the duration of PhD Duration of PhD should be fixed across all the institutes in our country. Further, in the cases of delay in completion of the degree, student along with his / her supervisor should also be held accountable.

We are living in a democratic country but are we getting a democratic environment in research institutes?     

Your view on the above issues is deeply appreciated.

Note : Afflatus has kept the identity of the writer as anonymous as Afflatus team does not want any harm to be caused to their sources.

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