Pune: Research students pursuing PhD and MPhil from Savitribai Phule Pune University are claiming that due to lockdown and lack of access to reference books, visits to experts to take their interviews there has been no progress in research work for past five months and that they are facing difficulty for submitting their research progress information online to the university.
Students have to compete a lot to get the opportunity to do research from Savitribai Phule Pune University. It takes a lot of effort from choosing a topic to finally submitting a dissertation. At present, Pune University has around 6,500 students registered for PhD, while for the graduation ceremony, usually 400 PhD and 100 MPSC researchers register themselves.
During the five year PhD period, the researcher is required to submit a report on the research work done by him every six months. This is to check whether the research is being carried out properly. Pune University has started an online tracking system for this from 2017.
It was also possible to present the information by coming to the office physically, but during the lockdown, the students had to leave the hostels and they could not use the reference books. The work is stalled due to lack of visits to experts and their interviews for research. The university has given a six-month extension for this.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education has issued a circular mandating research students to submit online progress reports even if they cannot come to the university campus physically. However, it is not possible to present a complete report due to certain problems and hence many research students have not updated their progress information.
Kiran, a research student said, “Many research students have been at their native places for the past five months. There has been no significant progress in research work and we are facing difficulties in filling in the information online.”
Uttam Chavan, Deputy Registrar of Savitribai Phule Pune University said, “A detailed circular has been issued so that students and guides do not have to worry about what to do when filling out information online. Although no deadline has been set for filing the researcher's information, it needs to be updated. Also, the research deadline has already been extended by six months due to the lockdown.”