'Join some other institute': NIT Jalandhar tells PhD candidates

NIT Jhalandar is refusing to admit PhD students after selecting them. Researchers call this decision "irresponsible"

'Join some other institute': NIT Jalandhar tells PhD candidates
Pritha Roy Choudhury | Jan 7, 2021 - 2:14 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The National Institute of Technology (NIT) Jalandhar had issued a notice saying it will not be able to admit students selected for the full-time PhD programme for the academic year 2020–21 (session – July 2020) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Keeping in view the interest of the selected candidates and their future aspects, the selected candidates are hereby informed that they can join some other Institute/courses as per their choice and suitability,” said the notice.

Candidates who had gained admission in the institute say this is an extreme step which none of the other institutes has taken.

PhD fellowships

“Where do we go now? And if it is for the pandemic, then why is the institute not closed for part-time PhD students? Why only full-time students,” asked a candidate not willing to disclose his name.

Another candidate who completed his MTech in 2020 held a similar view, saying: “The institute is doing this only with those candidates who got the fellowship and where the institute has to spend whereas for those with external fellowship continue to visit the institute.”

The notice mentions that there is no possibility of joining the fulltime Ph.D program by selected candidates in the upcoming semester that is January-June, 2021.

“It is a national institute and how can they say at this time of the year that we can join some other institute or course,” said another selected candidate on condition of anonymity saying that they have been left mid-way with nowhere to go.

JRCI steps in

Meanwhile, the Joint Research Council of India (JRCI) has written to the education minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, requesting him to instruct NIT Jalandhar administration to withdraw the notice.

Terming the notice is an ‘irresponsible’ one on part of NIT Jalandhar, the council questioned the institute saying that the whole world is fighting the pandemic without allowing education activities to suffer.

“Corona pandemic is equal for all academic institutes, viz. IITs, NITs, and many more. It is entirely incomprehensible that one educational institute is respecting and maintaining the faith and value of the Indian education system during the Corona pandemic, and it could not be possible for the NIT Jalandhar administration,” said Vikrant Singh, President, JRCI in the letter.

Singh further says, “It counts as an injustice to the time, and effort put by students. Not only that, this could lead to heavy mental breakdown of scholars,” adding “JRCI is demanding retrieval this order to ease up the struggle of our scholars in this pandemic time.”

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