The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dr. Flopshow in Ranchi
- Success rate: Nil in Physics, 4 in English, all in Hindi

Ranchi, January 25: In key subjects, very few of the bravehearts who took Ranchi University's 'Ph.D. entrance test', a written test conducted for the first time by possibly any university, have managed to clear it. Alarmed at the poor standard of research and manipulations involved in obtaining doctorate degrees, including hiring of ghost writers or simply changing the subject of an earlier research work, RU had devised a written test to screen applicants desirous of doing research. Existing faculty members, however, were exempted from taking the test.

Although results are yet to be declared officially, The Telegraph has accessed a copy of the tabulated report, which makes for dismal reading. University sources affirmed that those who failed to clear the test, will not be allowed to register for a Ph.D.; but they were not in a position to clarify whether the candidates have been barred for life or whether they will be allowed to appear in future tests and try their luck.

The results show that none of the 10 candidates who wanted to carry out research in Physics could clear the test. In English, the percentage was somewhat higher and 4 candidates out of 15 have been found to be eligible for carrying out research in the subject. The overall picture, however, does not appear so bleak because more than 50 per cent of the candidates who took the examination, have reportedly passed.

University sources put the figure of examinees at 399 for the test conducted on December 21 last month. As many as 220 of them have actually cleared the test, pointed out officials who felt that the decision to hold a written test has been vindicated by the result.

The evaluation was done at the post-graduate departments of the respective subjects.

In most universities, the requirement is to get a senior enough professor to agree and guide the scholar for research on a given subject.

A screening committee evaluates the synopsis presented by the candidates before certifying the suitability of the project. In a few universities, a pre-registration viva is held when the candidate is grilled on the project by a panel of professors.

The checks and balances, however, had broken down in Ranchi University and it was suspected that many undeserving candidates have walked away with doctorate degrees.

Only one in two candidates managed to clear the test in Economics and Chemistry. In Zoology the ratio dropped to one out of four. Surprisingly, the political science department found only three suitable candidates out of 26 , History 17 out of 38 and Geography 14 out of 30.

The overall figure, however, improved dramatically with departments of Hindi, Botany, Home Science, Law, Oriya, tribal and regional languages, sociology, philosophy and Bangla clearing all the candidates who appeared at the examination. Twenty-nine candidates appeared in the Hindi department and all of them were found to be eminently eligible. Similarly, 27 candidates appeared in the department of Botany and all of them cleared the test.

The dean (students' welfare), Victor Tigga, who had been entrusted to conduct the examinations and compile the results, told The Telegraph, 'After approval of the vice chancellor, we shall ask the departmental heads to notify the list of successful candidates.' The result, he explained, will be valid for a period of one year during which successful candidates will be able to register for Ph.D, subject to the availability of research quota in the departments concerned. The first lot of registrations, he added, will be done by the end of February.

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