For close to a year, seven PhD women students of Delhi University’s Hindi department have been running from pillar to post to submit their PhD thesis. This, despite the department giving them a two-year extension by citing the 2016 UGC regulations.
The students had enrolled in the course in 2011. In 2016, the students had applied for a six-month extension to complete their thesis. On May 30, 2016, the Board of Research Studies (BRS) had allowed the same, with effect from April 4, 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 PhD.” The 2016 regulation allows a relaxation of two years for completion of the PhD programme to women and students with disability.
But the 2016 regulation was adopted by DU only in 2017, which cannot be applied retrospectively — as was done in 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 per earlier UGC regulations, the time for PhD coursework is five years. The BRS can give a year’s extension, in the form of six months and then another six months. Another six-month extension is granted by the research council, which equals a total of six-and-a-half-years.
The Hindi Head of Department, Mohan, acknowledged the problem and said he is working to resolve this issue. “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,” he said.
Students say the two-year extension will end in the first week of September. “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.