The University of Pune and Doing a PhD in Its Engineering Faculty (Part 1)

Recently, Indian Express and other papers have carried news items saying that University of Pune recently has increased the monthly stipend of PhD students from some Rs. 3000 to some Rs. 6000.

This is to clarify that there has never been any stipend for doing a PhD in the Engineering Faculty in the University of Pune.

Thus, I did not receive a single paisa from the University of Pune, or from COEP, during any part of my PhD. My entire PhD has been “self-sponsored,” so to speak. (No stipend, no equipment, no travel allowance to attend conferences,… Each and everything has been paid for by me.)

For that matter, it’s high time that the rest of the world also got to know that the PhD students of engineering cannot even use the Jayakar library of University of Pune. Not even just the e-Access section of this library (which does carry ScienceDirect, JSTOR and many other subscriptions). The students of MA (let alone PhD) in, say, Economics department are fully allowed to use Jayakar, though, typically, they do not care for it.  In contrast, students of PhD in engineering may go begging to use libraries in IITs, NCL, DRDO labs, or other places, because they want to use it, and ye, they are not allowed to use Jayakar!! The reason? Engineering faculty has no department to represent in the University of Pune campus, and so, until the time that this Great University built one, the Engineering Faculty students would continue to be treated as second-class citizens on its campus. Not even if it is the University of Pune’s stamp which is going to appear on their PhD certificates, once they produce the thesis—somehow.

Apparently, this University only exists to stamp degree certificates as far as engineering PhDs go, because there is no room for them in any academic sense on its campus. There can be very expansive (and towersome) offices for a select few, but not even simple e-access facilities for some of its own PhD students!!

I request everyone responsible for ranking of universities in various surveys to kindly factor in this fact in their evaluations too—until the time that this University begins behaving a bit more responsibly towards its hapless Engg. faculty PhD. students.

(Written on April 5, 2008. Published on April 20, 2008.)

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