Education is the process of getting knowledge and experience useful for leading a useful life and it is a lifelong process. However, the formal process of education ends with the award of Degree of Ph D and D.Sc. In this way Ph D is the highest and terminal level of formal education.
The actual aim of doing Ph D is not only to get a doctorate degree, but to explore and find out the new fields of knowledge as well as to find out solutions for the existing socio-economic and technical problems in the society. For this purpose,we need a very congenial and friendly environment. Secondly, the person intending to do Ph D should not only be eligible but also be very competent and interested to do research on the topic allotted. The findings should be analysed by the concerned authorities and be also implemented in actual field of life..
All this envisages that the cost of Ph D should be kept minimum in terms of money but maximum in terms quality of research.
But to my knowledge and experience, the cost of Ph D and M.Phil have been increased many folds due to illogical and unjustified hike in university fees. The private sector universities are charging very high amounts of fees ranging between three and five lacs while the Government universities are charging lower rates, but there is no uniform fee structure for all the universities. Recently, the UGC has introduced many norms for Ph D and MPhil Degree programs but there seems nothing to improve the quality of research. It is learnt that the provision of part time Ph D has been done away with and course work has been made compulsory for all of the candidates including both with and without M.Phil Degree which is nothing except addition of a very redundant formality.
But it is very surprising that the UGC has not done anything to standardise the fee structure for all the universities in the country. The actual rates of fees should depend upon the cost of imparting education and providing facilities to the researchers. But there is no logic in this context. That is why, the quality of research is declining day by day and it looks as if the degrees are being sold and purchased like any material good. This trend is very bad and harmful to our society and as such, must be checked. The concerned authorities including UGC must look into the matter and minimise,fix and regulate the fee structure for all the universities in India so that the quality and value of higher education may be improved and maintained at desired higher levels.
O P Sharma