Hello, I introduce myself as Raju Hazra, former PhD student of IISER Mohali. I joined IISER in August 2015 as an Int.PhD student and registered as a PhD student in August 2017. Though I was Int.PhD student, I started my research from Dec. 2015 (2nd semester of Int. PhD course). I have a passion for research and so I started my research as early as possible and side-by-side I was doing the required course work for an MS degree. Always I focused on research rather than coursework to think that I am an Int. PhD student as I have come here for research and I have to get my PhD. I sacrificed my course work because of research but in the end, I had to quit my PhD program and came home with an MS degree after 4 years. This is only because of my supervisor Dr. S.S.V Ramasastry.
In order to get justice, I went to important people in IISER but no one had taken any action against Dr. Ramasastry. Then Afflatus published my sad story in #PhDMeToo on 9 July 2019 and after 2 days, it was published in Times of India also. Immediate after, I wrote to the PMO office and MHRD. After that a committee was formed and they investigated the case. I didn’t have any eye witness and no one came to support me. My lab members were eyewitness but no one told any single word against Dr. Ramasastry. I am not blaming them, they were afraid of Dr. Ramasastry. However, whatever proof I had presented those were more than enough to prove that how Ramasastry sir tortured me and how he threw bad languages at me. Honestly, whatever proof I had given based on that he should be rusticated from the institute. But that didn’t happen. Anyhow one minimum punishment had been given to him and that is Dr. Ramasastry can’t take PhD students for two years. This is very minimum punishment and that also Ramasastry sir is not following. Despite being punished, he has taken three PhD students and the most surprising fact that the institute happily approved that. Then what is the meaning of this punishment! As usual “Dr. Ramasastry is thinking that I got punishment, yet I am taking PhD students, that means no one can touch me”. I am questioning higher authority who declared the punishment for him, why you are not taking any action? Despite being punished how he is taking students?
Important message for incoming students: before joining his lab check his lab’s background. How many students’ career Ramasastry sir destroyed vs. how many students’ career he built. Always you will find the rate of destroyed career is much higher than the rate of built career and one recent example is my career. I have the capability to finish my PhD within 3 years but he destroyed me because of his ego problem. When you meet him for the very first time, the way he will talk to you, you will think OMG, he is the best person in this world. Don’t do this mistake, the same mistake I have done and today I am suffering. “The day you join in his lab he will immediately come to conclusion to see your outer structure how he treats you whole five years”- this is not my word, this is Dr. S.S.V Ramasastry’s word. Whether you know chemistry or not that doesn’t matter to him, even still in his lab who don’t know chemistry, who are unable to click any single project they are favorite to him and who are really hard-working, want to do real research they are bad students to him and he tortures them most. There was a time when I respected him a lot, but after two years of tolerating his torture, I came to know his real face. Another important fact; probably you think that if you join him you will get good papers, but I will suggest checking again, only his favorite students got good papers not all the students. His strategy is to take working project from hardworking students and give them to those who are his favourite students (I need not tell why they are favorite even they don’t know chemistry and unable to click any single project till now), if you click any project by your own, he will stop your project because of his ego problem, the same thing happened to me. I deserve 1st authorship in ACS Catal. but got 2nd authorship, I clicked one project by myself but because of his ego problem, he stopped that project. However, be careful if you are joining IISER Mohali. Other than Dr. Ramasastry all faculties are very good. From my experience, I can say that at least in the chemistry department many numerous faculties are present who are doing good research and treat students like their children.
Finally, I would like to thanks Afflatus who supported me a lot to fight for right.
You can read the whole story on this link –
Note – The article is written by Raju Hazra who was harassed by his supervisor.
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