Hindustan Times exposed the well-known business of fake Doctoral research work in Indian Universities. A shopping complex opposite old JNU campus in Delhi has a row of book shops that appear like ordinary book stalls. But inside serious "research " discussions regarding creation of bogus Doctoral discussions take place between the research customers and touts. PhD on any topic. Price of ghostwritten dissertations ranges from a minimum of Rs. 30,000/- depending on the topic and the "degree of originality " required by the research " scholar". Ghost written dissertations are not merely for researchers from ordinary Universities, but also for scholars from prestigious Universities like JNU, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and Indian Institute of Technology ,Delhi. It is said that South Delhi is a flourishing ghost-written PhD market. This malady is not confined to Delhi alone.All across India doctorate degrees are sold for researchers by Professors and administrators of various Universities.
Doctorate degrees are also in great demand from politicians, astrologers, businessmen, civil servants, and others. Some give doctorates to them by themselves. Astrologers of various types call themselves Dr. XXX. Who questions them. When persons without any medical qualification practice medicine and even do surgery, adding Dr to one's name ,though not from any University, is a minor aberration from Indian standards.
Writing dissertations for Master's degrees, MPhil degrees and PhDs is a Start-Up Industry in India needing no venture capital. Like corruption for public service in government departments, Ghost dissertations for a price have become a common phenomenon. Ironically, even a doctoral degree secured after years of hard work is viewed with suspicion. Some years ago, a good research scholar worked hard and wrote his dissertation under the research guidance of a Professor with an MPhil and a PhD. Before submitting he showed me his dissertation. His dissertation had a very serious defect : the percentages in all the cross-tables were computed with a wrong base. When I pointed out this to him, he was initially upset. But he had no time to redraft the dissertation. He took the risk hoping that like his research guide, the examiner would also be ignorant of the percentage rules. He was perfectly right. He passed MPhil with distinction.
Our HRD Miniter Ms.Smriti Irani announced that soon Universities in India would be ranked. Very good idea. When academic Ghosts are available in plenty in India, rating of Universities has to be taken with a " bag of salt". AMEN.
Rtd. Professor of Social Work,
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