SPPU raises age bar for PhD guides

Pranita Roy
Thursday, 7 February 2019

Upper age limit increased to 65 years from earlier 60

PUNE: Taking a step forward, the Academic Council of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has increased the upper age limit of PhD guide up to 65 years. The decision was taken in the Academic Council meeting which was held on Wednesday. 

Currently, a person can guide an MPhil/PhD student till the age of 60 years. Apparently, there was a long-standing demand by students, retired guides and research institutes to raise the age limit. 

“When a PhD guide (professor) is about to retire he/she stops taking research students under him/her. While once the guide has retired the students under him/her has to be shifted to other guides, causing inconvenience for students. Therefore now, according to the revised PhD guidelines, the professor can continue to guide till his/her retirement and further for five more years as well,” said Prafulla Pawar, Registrar of SPPU. 

“Also, a professor cannot take students from multiple institutes for PhD guidance. The guide should function from his/her respective college or institute or university only,” added Pawar. 

Even Bhushan Patwardhan, now Vice-Chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC), had stated that the very norm that a teacher cannot mentor a student after superannuation was unreasonable. According to a UGC regulation 2016, a guide cannot mentor a student after service on his/her superannuation. The superannuation for a college/university teacher is 58/60 years. Assistant Registrar (academics) Sunil Atre of SPPU, has also mentioned that years back university had the tradition that a teacher could continue to guide till the age of 70 years. However, it was stopped later after 2016 regulation. 

Sanjeev Sonawane, Head of Education Department of SPPU and member of Academic Council stated that students, PhD guides and few research institutes had also demanded to increase the age limit while taking the advantage of graded autonomy university has decided upon the aforesaid. 

“Several guides had requested to allow them to continue as research guides at respective institutes, as they are fit to do so even after retirement. This will also help those institutes who have one or two research guides only. Especially in such institutes, students get shifted to other guides in between their research study, which affects their work,” said Sonawane. 

Apart from this, the Academic Council has asked to form a governing council body to reform Bachelor of Vocation (BVoc) courses, in order to streamline them. Several courses such a Master of Science in Astrobiology, Astrophysics, Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Research and also courses in Data Analytics have been approved. 

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