Move to scrap PhD entrance for senior citizens, professionals

The University of Pune (UoP) plans to make PhD entrance process a little easier for senior citizens and people established in various fields. According to a proposal submitted by the academic council, there is a need to exempt a certain group of people like senior citizens, lawyers, doctors and artists who have spent more than 10 years in their profession doing quality work from taking the entrance exam.

Taking this proposal into consideration, the UoP has formed a two-member committee to formulate guidelines for the same and submit their reports in a month.

The suggestion to adopt separate guidelines for PhD admission for senior citizens was first brought up by former Vice-Chancellor (V-C) Narendra Jadhav during his tenure. However, not much was done then. This year, however, the same suggestion has been put forward in the 12th five-year plan by Symbiosis International V-C Bhushan Patwardhan and senior senate member, UoP, Gajanan Ekbote who were part of the steering committee.

Till 2009, candidates interested in getting a PhD did not have to sit for an entrance exam. With the change in the University Grant Commission's (UGC) guidelines, the UoP conducted the first entrance test in 2010 and another one in December last year. "The idea is to attract more people towards getting into research work," said Wasudev Gade, director, Board of College and University Development (BCUD), UoP.

The current proposal recommends exemption of senior citizens and certain professionals from the first aptitude test. "Many senior citizens cannot sit for the online exam because they are not comfortable using computers. Also, professionals from various fields like law, medicine, engineering or media do not appear for the test because many of them may not have the time," reads the suggestion.

A two-member committee comprising former law faculty dean Sureshchandra Bhosale and head of the Center for Performing Arts, UoP, has been given the responsibility of forming guidelines. "The work of the committee will be to decide who all can be given the exemption and under what criteria. Depending on the recommendations, we will forward the proposal to the management council," added Gade.

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