Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said that no of scholars per professor in JNU will be increased to 20-25 from eight, as per the norms mandated for the universities.
The Minister's statement came during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha when members expressed concern about the state of and the quantum of research including PhDs being done in the country, with Congress leader Digvijaya Singh claiming that the UGC guidelines had proved to be counter-productive.
He also said that the system of providing deprivation points to the weaker sections in JNU had been done away with. Observing that a court has now held that the JNU should follow the UGC norms, Javadekar, replying specifically to the question on the university, said while the UGC mandate was that one professor may guide 8 scholars, an associate professor would guide 6 and an assistant professor 4.
He said the world over the number is even lesser but in India, "we want more PhDs". Javadekar said that in JNU, there were instances where professors were guiding upto 20-25 scholars for their PhDs and asked "have you heard (this) anywhere?" He allayed members' concerns that the number of PhDs in JNU may come down, saying that as scores of vacant teaching positions are filled up, the number of research scholars being guided would also go up.
Earlier, the members raised questions about the number of PhD scholars coming down in the country, to which Minister of State for HRD Mahendra Nath Pandey said the number had dipped from 23,861 in 2013-14 to 21,830 in 2014-15.
However, this number went up to 24,171 in 2015-16. Members also expressed concern over delay in grant of fellowship and scholarship amount to students, to which Pandey said that a majority of grievances on a UGC portal have been addressed. He also added that these amounts had been increased by 55 percent in 2014.