PhD Scholars Demand Tenure Extension in view of COVID-19 Crisis

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The coronavirus pandemic has hit everyone equally. In India, since the lockdown continued for more than two months, all students, whether it be school or college, have had to manage their studies from home itself. But, where on one hand, board exams for classes 10th and 12th got cancelled, on the other hand, college students and research scholars have got no relief from the authorities. This is crucial for the final year students as it not only affects their studies but also puts their future at stake.

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Demands of PhD Scholars of Joint Research Council of India

In a letter to the HRD Minister, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the PhD scholars of Joint Research Council of India have penned down their problems. For the final year PhD scholars, whose 5-year tenure is about to get over by July/August 2020, it has been difficult to work on their thesis in the given circumstances. Since March, due to the lockdown, many were forced to vacate their campus and while doing the same many had left their research material and equipment in the hostel itself. Nobody had a thought that the lockdown would continue for so long. And as the educational institutions haven’t been allowed to reopen yet, many students have not been able to work on their thesis at this peak time of 6 months. Further, those who are financially weak will have a tough time supporting their families as their fellowships will be discontinued.

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Therefore, in such a scenario, the final year PhD students of Joint Research Council of India demand for an extension of their PhD tenure to up to 6 months or 1 year, along with full fellowship.  

“COVID-19 has brought tough time upon all of us, especially researchers who were suddenly asked to vacate campuses, leave their work as it is, and this has been unyielding for them. We demand to extend the duration of PhD students, who were completing their PhD in this period and also their fellowship to be continued”, said JRCI president, Vikrant Singh.

The importance of research at the time of a pandemic is quite visible to the whole world. A good investment in research is important and worth as it helps to solve many practical solutions. This time, it is the scholars who are demanding support from the government.

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Written By Shiwangi, She is doing her Masters in Mass Communication from GGS IP University, New Delhi.

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