Signs of being a PhD student in India

PhD students around the world have to go through same kind of hardships and stress. All the PhDs can relate to each other because of deadlines, results, poster presentation, personal problems etc. However there is another kind of species that exist and that is the Indian PhD student. Indian PhDs not only have to cope up with problems mentioned above but also have to face a plethora of different kind of difficulties. Here are a few signs that can prove that you are an Indian PhD student

1. Fight for the hike of your fellowship

In India, PhD students have to fight for the hike in their fellowship. Normally the fellowship amount should change according to the inflation rate in the country but things don’t happen normally here. Recently, Indian PhD students protested on social media platforms to the road. They were even arrested on an occasion by the police. The demand of the students was to increase the fellowship by 80% due to inflation, but the funding agencies increased a meagre 24% in fellowship amount. This is not the first time this has happened, this is like a routine every year or two years this type of protest has to take place in order to increase the amount of fellowship.

2. What is your age? Why are you taking so much time to study? When are you getting married?

These are the typical questions that are asked to a Senior Research Fellow (SRF) or anyone who has crossed the age of 28. In addition to all of these, people have also started to ask “Why are you wasting tax payer’s money?” which is an absurd statement and people asking such questions should be mocked vehemently.

The number of women in science is already very less and whatever number there is, they have to constantly face the pressure of parents to get married. Because rishte wale and results Kabhi bhi aa sakte hain.

3. Dance to the tunes of Supervisor

It is important to be clear in the beginning that there are lots of supervisors who are sweet and supportive. But, the supervisors who are not sweet and supportive are way more in number. I have heard stories where supervisor says that they own the life of the PhD student. There are cases where PhD students have to do the personal chores of the supervisor. The delay in submission of thesis, the delay in viva is the biggest instrument of these supervisors. They can also delay the publishing of your paper which is an important aspect for the carrier advancement of the students. A PhD is a part of life but some supervisors want the PhD to become life of a student which is dangerous physically and mentally as well.

If you think that there are more things that happen commonly to Indian PhDs then do tell us in the comments. We would love to know more about the problems of PhD students and address them in our future articles.

Author Profile

Mritunjay Sharma
Mritunjay Sharma
Mritunjay Sharma finished his B.Sc (H) from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University in Chemistry. After that he went to England to study Masters in Polymer Material Science and Engineering from University of Manchester and consequently finished his PhD in Nuclear and Materials Chemistry from University of Manchester

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