Doctor of Philosophy
Obtaining the doctorate in any subject is considered the ultimate or the pinnacle in the field of education. It gives immense satisfaction to the student, who gets a PhD. It’s compared with the climbing of Mount Everest. The million dollars question is whether the path though difficult, is that smooth. These students do Research under the guidance of a Professor for a very long time. The duration varies from 3 years to 6 years and sometimes goes beyond six years even. The students are generally under too much of a mental and physical stress most of the time and even working beyond the regular work hours. They can’t even express their feelings or revolt against their Professors for the fear of getting their future jeopardized.
There may be thousands and thousands of Universities across the Globe. But only few hundred Universities have some kind of a good reputation for providing high standard of education that includes top quality Lecturers and Professors and best infrastructure facilities in addition to sound financial stability. Getting a Bachelor’s degree, Masters degree or doing Research and obtaining a PhD has some value in such Universities only in the light of the future prospects of the students as far as their career is concerned. Rest of them only provide the qualification i.e quantity but not quality, which has no value whatsoever for all practical purposes. So the role of a Professor is very vital in this respect.
This article generally deals with the behaviour pattern of the Professors and doesn’t deal with the financial aspect of the course and other aspects. This article is not based on fiction but facts. The guide is a very influential person even for deciding the future career of his students. He is like ”Brahma” , ” Vishnu” and ”Shiva” combined and quite capable of making and breaking the career of his students. I only pray that they should only make the career of the students and not break their career. This is not meant to ridicule all Professors since there are decent and capable Professors also in this Universe.
The general requisite for getting a seat in PhD is by graduating in a Masters Degree in that particular field of education. But in Countries like America, one can join a PhD course after obtaining a Bachelor degree. A student may later opt for a Masters degree or continue the course and get the doctorate. The duration for getting the doctorate is said to be four years everywhere except U.K, where it’s only three years under normal circumstances if everything goes well according to schedule.
It is not that simple as it appears. It’s more like snake and ladder, push and pulls game rather than hard work on the part of the student and the guide. The PhD students are something of a prestige for the Professor. The more the number of PhD students, the bigger the Professor, who later becomes the envy of his or her colleagues. The student’s fate more or less depends upon his or her luck i.e getting an opportunity to study under the guidance of a good Professor. The student is always at his wits end since he is at the mercy of the Professor all the time.
A Professor is quite capable of playing any game he or she likes with his/her students. Many Professors get their domestic, official and sundry works done from their students at all times. They can continue to keep the student in suspense and make the student look novice so that the entire duration may sometimes exceed beyond six years. This causes mental agony to the students apart from the financial burden resulting in the dropout of many students out of sheer frustration. Those students, who dare to defy the Professor, are neither here nor there. Their fate is a big question mark.
I am personally aware of some unfortunate students, who have dropped out of the PhD course due to the misdeeds of their guides. My daughter is deprived of her much deserved PhD just because she had some bitter misunderstanding with her roommate, who in turn poisoned the ears of my daughter’s guide. Eventually my daughter had to be satisfied with a Masters degree in America even though she already has one from India. My wife’s PhD was delayed by six months in Mumbai, India only due to the simple reason that she refused to deliver a personal letter of her guide to someone in Chembur, Mumbai during the night hours. My friend’s daughter was denied the much wanted PhD by her guide in Mumbai due to some trivial reasons. She had to opt out finally. One of the persons closely known to me got his PhD in India without putting much efforts thanks to an unethical act of his friend, who wrote his thesis. One of my close relatives is having a very tough time with his guide for the past two years in America just because he is an outstanding student. His Professor appears to fear that he may not get another good student once this particular student leaves him after getting his PhD. As such he has tried all tricks in the trade to put all sorts of hurdles in the student’s path. One intelligent lady student has crossed all hurdles after 8 to 9 years of Research in CUNY, New York recently. There may be many more untold such instances.
I am also aware of some students, who obtained their doctorates within the stipulated period, my son, my classmate, my daughter’s friend being some of them. I wholeheartedly appreciate the knowledge, wisdom and efforts of good Professors, who are doing wonderful job in their fields of specialization.
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