Seven women, all Ph.D. students of Delhi University’s Hindi department, have been running helter-skelter in a bid to submit their thesis. It has been over a whole year now since they have been doing that, even though they were accorded a two-year extension by their department, under UGC’s 2016 regulation. They had started the course in 2011 and had applied for an extension of six months for the completion of their thesis five years later. The Board of Research Studies (BRS) had approved of the same in May 2016, w.e.f 4th April 2016.
The Hindi department, in a letter dated December 22, 2016, states: “As per the request by the student, and as per the UGC 2016 regulations, the student is being given two-years’ time to submit the Ph.D.” As per the mentioned 2016 regulation, women, and students with disabilities are permitted a two-year relaxation to complete their Ph.D. programme. However, DU put this into effect in 2017, consequently meaning that it could not be used to further the students’ case.
“When we got the extension letter, we went to check at the department and they confirmed it. My guide also extended the pre-submission time. I submitted the thesis in six-and-a-half-years, but the department keeps dismissing our complaints. It has been 10 months… my thesis has been lying with the department,” said one of the students.
As far as UGC regulations are concerned, a Ph.D. coursework is allotted a time period of five years for completion. The BRS can stretch it further by a year, via two extensions of six months each. The research council has the capacity to add a further six months, implying that the maximum allowed time for the course is six-and-a-half years.
Mohan, HOD for the Hindi department, said, “It has been raised with the Dean Research… Since she is not here, it’s taking time. We will ensure that they are allowed to submit their thesis, but I don’t know how long it will take. The issue is that the students did not check their registration details,”.
As per the students, the first week of September will see the two-year extension coming to an end. “The department granted the extension… I don’t know why they can’t accept the thesis. If they don’t, we will protest. We are also deliberating to approach the court,” added the student.