UGC makes PhD thesis in English mandatory

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked research students to submit at least one copy of their PhD thesis, except those in language subjects, in English. As if now, submitting thesis in English was not mandatory. While the move was appreciated by a section of academic fraternity, some teachers and students have expressed their reservation on the development. The recent order of the UGC will be implemented from 2011-12 academic year.

The commission has also ordered that one of the PhD examiners must be from outside the state where a research scholar is pursuing his/her PhD.

“It is because of this reason that UGC has made it compulsory to submit one copy of the thesis in English language,” said HNGU Vice-Chancellor Hemaxiben Rao. Although students with weak English can get their work translated but the cost of translation has to be borne by them.

These orders have received mixed response in the state of Gujarat. While the vice-chancellors of four major universities in the state — Gujarat University (GU), Saurashtra University (SU), Sardar Patel University (SPU) and Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University (HNGU) — have welcomed the UGC order, the teachers and students are not happy with the decision.

Gujarat University Vice-Chancellor Parimal Trivedi has also supported the move, saying it will benefit students. “But this should not be interpreted as an affront to Gujarati language,” said Trivedi.

“Your work cannot be appreciated if you confine your research work to Gujarati language only,” said SPU Vice-Chancellor Harish Padh.

“A student doing Ph D in subjects like economics and political science, pure sciences and management is expected to have working knowledge of English language,” said SU V-C Kamlesh Joshipura.

But the UGC fiat has attracted criticism from Manoj Soni, V-C of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University (BAOU) and Hari Desai, director of the Centre for Studies and Research on life and works of Sardar Vallabh Patel at Anand. Both opine that UGC need not insist on presenting the research work in English.

Incidentally, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India had recently hauled up BAOU for not “fully utilizing” the English Language facility the state’s higher education department had helped set up in its premises.

Soni said the translation can be done at any period because even the National Knowledge Commission emphasises on translating the work into English. Meanwhile, Desai fears the new UGC order will affect those PhD students who do not know English.

[Source: Indian Express]

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191 thoughts on “UGC makes PhD thesis in English mandatory”

  1. Please do not undermine scholarship in regional languages. The UGC move will only add to academic corruption and harrassment of scholars not knowing English well.

  2. Decision of UGC regarding writing Ph.D in english meduim is a very good one. it will allow scholars of all meduims to have access and understanding of the Literature.

  3. The UGC decision regarding submission of PhD thesis in English needs appreciation.PhD is the highest Degree and now that UGC has already decided that all institutions has to sent Soft copies to it and every body should have access to to such work, it is necessaryS to have PhD thesis in English.In this era of Globalization and ICT, there can not be any Escape Route.

  4. Why it can not be compulsory to write PhD thesis in Hindi/Sanskrit? Compulsion of writing PhD thesis in English will change the mindset of the students to study science subjects only in English and not to care about terminologies in Hindi/Sanskrit. This decision could be suicidal in long-term. If the Government want to promote hindi, it must be applied to the research and studies of science and technology.

  5. This decision taken by the UGC of making English mandatory is not good for INDIAN NATIONALISM. If this approach does not change then as SANSKRIT is losing its old charm as the mother of all languages, the same condition will be faced by our national language HINDI, DEVNAGARI and other regional languages.

  6. The move by the UGC that the PhD.D. thesis should be written in English is an excellent move. A person completing Ph.D. should have at least working knowledge of English. Moreover, people from different parts of the world and the country can refer it only when it is written in English. Otherwise, the knowledge remains confined within the people knowing that language only.
    Publication of the research work in any reputed journal whether Indian or foreign will also need the knowledge of English. Therefore, this is a very welcome step.

  7. This is one of the worst decision taken by UGC. First UGC should do the survey that how many Indian prof. (thesis reviewers) know English, and can they (Prof.) understand any research article in English better than in his mother tongue. Some people claim we should learn English because it is international language and best language. How?
    Only 5% population of the world and 14 countries out of 200 speaks English.
    There are only 12000 words in English whereas in Gujarati- 45000 words, Marathi- 48000 words, Hindi- 70000 words, Sanskrit- unlimited (formula to create any no. of words). So there are acute shortage of words in English also grammar is not correct. That is the reason U.N.O. do not use English as official language, they use French. All Indian regional languages are far better than English.
    Research says that one can understand any subject 6 times faster in his own mother tongue than English (or other language).
    We can not degrade of quality of research due to language barriers.
    My advice is:
    UGC should open a translation section,
    and translate the thesis according to the mother tongue of reviewer.

  8. This shows how illiterate the people at the UGC are about the relationship between the mother tongue and successful education. No country which have based its education on a foreign language. have made a good progress in education, including higher education. And no professional educationist or linguist will recommend such non sense. Thanks to these illiterate desi angrezi mandarins that India is amongst the countries at the bottom educationally. Not even a single Indian University is amongst the first 200 in the world. Dear desi angrezes, read something on education and language. Joga, Punjabi University, Patiala

  9. Actually I am not happy with this decision made by the experts of UGC. It seems that they are not awair of the problems of Hindi speaking belt. 64 years have been passed after independence and all Indians are still untrained to speak and write the National Language Hindi. The number of English knowing people is lesser than that. If the students will be pressurized to submit one copy of their Ph.D. thesis by getting it translated with the help of an expert translator, it will make an unnecessary delay in the process because such type of experts are also not easily available everywhere. The students of collages located in remote villages will suffer. It will create an unnecessary economic burden on many of the poor students. Ultimately it will be a harassment of students nothing else.

  10. It is sad to note that most of the commentators here think Hindi is a ‘national language’. It is an official language and not national as many here think. If you want to complain about UGC making it mandatory to submit at least one copy of thesis in English, please feel free to do so. However, don’t use incorrect facts to argue your case.

    BTW there is another scam going on in IIT JEE with a provision to write in Hindi…why this benefit not being extended to other languages also?

  11. In Engineering, Technology, Management, Medicine, Law, Science and wherever the medium of instruction is English, proficiency in the English language is a must, since the aim of most Ph.D. students is to get a teaching job, and if the medium of instruction is English, they must not only have good knowledge of English but excellent English language communication skills as well. That is why this is a welcome step.

  12. This decision will raise many debates. I think a summary in English may have been adequate to facilitate examination of the thesis. In a multi-lingual country like India with the under-current of a strong language bias prevalent at political as well as cultural levels it is highly unlikely that such a decision will have a pan-Indian acceptance.

  13. UGC needs to further refine it—-to upload PhD thesis in english at leat one month prior to final acceptance sothat original source person can come forward and reveal cut-paste his work in regional language and MAKING AVAILABLE PDF version always available on university site.

    This will stop rapidly churning out PhDs in a secret manner confined only upto concerned university.

  14. Reformation in Ph D rules is a necessity. One of the examiners must be from the outside of states and a copy of the thesis must be in English. Nobody should get promotion without a genuine research degree and academically standard publication in referee journal. Political pressure should not work if we are to survive in international competition in educational sphere. Only excellence should be honored in teacher-selection and the post of Vice Chancellors should be filled up with open advertisement if we are to speak of standard in education today.

  15. By making the English language (at least one copy) compulsory UGC has taken a right decision because the findings of the candidate (submitting thesis) can be read be other fellows around the world. Otherwise, the important work done during Ph. D will remain to limited number of scholars. The PhD examiners outside the state is also a positive step. This will help in maintaining the same standard of higher education through the country.

  16. The decision taken by by UGC to make it mandatory to have Ph. D. thesis in English (Also) is against the commitment, we made to ourselves, to have everything in Hindi. It is not a question of knowing English or not. One should try to know as many languages as possible but not at the cost of our language. Argueing on the basis of multi-linguistic country, Why english has been chosen to be the “Common Language” Hindi has a better position as interlinking language. The decision is an insult to our Rashtrabhasha.
    Leave aside everything why this site is not in Hindi. If there are difficulties, and I realize them to be numerous, all of them can be solved provided we wish.

  17. The proposition of the UGC to submit a copy of the thesis in English is an excellent idea and a welcome proposition because it will help in improving the standards of the thesis as well as it may control plagiarism. Moreover, the contributions of a research scholar to knowledge can be widely disseminated in the new model proposed by UGC.
    To add to it, may I submit a suggestion with regard to the award of the highest degrees like D.Sc./D.Lit. and Ll.D.. On the basis of my experience as Vice Chancellor of one of the oldest and largest affiliating university in the country, I would like to urge upon UGC to examine the policies in award of D.Sc/D.Lit. and Ll. D degrees by different Universities. The UGC should work out a standard norm and frame rules and regulations for award of these highest degrees to mainatin standards of higher education in the country.
    Looking forward to a response from the Chairamn and members of UGC to the above suggestions.
    Binayak Rath

  18. It is UGC’s good decision , to help scholars apprise the world of their latest findings of research work. Research should not confine to a region/state/language, but it must reach people of the world for better prolifiration and perculation. Sane persons must hail the academic decision of the UGC. It should not be seen with tainted glasses.

  19. There is nothing wrong in writing your thesis in English.In this era of Globalization
    one needs to reach out to all .English is by and large is acceptable everywhere,where as regional languages restrict the appreciation of the hard work done by the researcher.
    Kudos to UGC !

  20. It is good that UGC made Ph.D. thesis in english mandatory. The outcome of research in any topic can only be appreciated by persons from any discipline if it is written in english. Otherwise how the language barrier will be overcome.

  21. UGC’s move to make Ph.D. Thesis in English is indeed a welcome note. Initial difficulties will have to be overcome by students who do not have much command over English. As individuals we are called upon to have the determination of a mirror, which never looses its ability to reflect , even when it is broken into pieces. Dedication and determination will empower those with weak language to work hard to produce their thesis in English.
    Prof.(Dr.) Sr.Marion Mathew

  22. Personally, I do not endorse UGC’s decision to force scholars towards pursuing research only in English. Language is only a means, like many other tools in research. It can not become an end in itself. Every word carries with it the baggage of culture, tradition and ethos of its people. Higher education aspires to kindle new traditions, cultures and ethos by generating and upgrading to contemporary knowledge in the language of the common people. By discouraging research in (other) Indian Languages UGC is negating its prime duty. If the main purpose of any University is to facilitate the creation and flow of knowledge through education, the medium of research; which is only a means and not an end unto itself, should never be a barrier. In today’s technology driven era when knowledge cannot be limited by linguistic compulsions UGC’s decision nails the mother tongue. Instead it should have taken the initiative to allow scholars to pursue genuine research in any Indian language mentioned in the constitution so that academic research could become a part of the general knowledge of the common people.

  23. It is recently during my visit and interaction with the faculty and management of various self finance colleges affiliated to Punjab University, G N D University, Punjabi University, there does not appeared any uniform policy on the appointment of Principal and faculty on the qualification and experience for the post of Principal . For example GND University made NET and Punjabi Language upto Xth Standard as compulory qualification for the recruitment of Principals resulting that more that half of the Colleges are presently without Principals. Though, qualified and experienced principals are available but due to the regidity of the university authorities has degraded the quality of teacher education of a state which is rich in all domain of quality of life and culture. Imposition of fine in the absence of Punjabi qualified Principal is not alternative and is against the spirit and doctrine of equity and unity as enshrined in the premble of the Constitution of India as well as in the National Policy of Education.
    In case of recruitment of Lecturer, one who possesses his/her M.Phil qualification in her school subject is debarred from being considered for the post of a Lecturer in Teaching subject as he/she has not qualified M.Phil or NET in Education. Thus ,making his/her M.Phil degree in other subjects of no use.
    It is for the Universities in the state of Punjab to review and reconsider their decision in terms of the values enshrined in the Constitution of India and National Policy on Education. Universities are the centres of learning and promtion of values and empowering masses for their survivals and contribution to the development of community, nation and human society.

  24. This its a welcome move, and a digital submission in all languages should also be enforced. And, a national repository of thesis submitted is very much needed to ensure the work is accessible throughout the country and internationally. This should also aid in cutting down plagiarism. UGC must push ahead with this and not succumb to political pressure from self serving entities. The value of a thesis that can be read only by a few is very limited. Even in countries like France, where they do almost everything in French, many advisors select international reviewers and ask the students to write the thesis in english, so that the work is appreciated internationally. In this globalized era, an aspiring scientific power like India can’t take chances in the effort to make Indian research accessible worldwide.

  25. In my opinion, it is a very good move, UGC has taken up. This will curbe /stop the second rate Ph.D. work in Universities and colleges. Apart from this, the evaluation should be stricter than prevailing at present.

  26. It is alright that for wider recognition thesis in one language would not be sufficient. But within India “Hindi” as link language is good enough. We find lots of “learned” people not knowing correct English too and still they are invited as experts because they are so in their fields. They may not know very correct Hindi but can understand. AT PRESENT 60% URBAN POPULATION IN INDIA UNDERSTANDS HINDI.
    UGC should make it mandatory to have one copy in HINDI.
    English copy may be asked only if any expert, particularly from English speaking countries, is a foreigner.
    The financial help for translation should be provided by the institute and the candidate need not be for this.