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IIT alumnus to burn PhD certificate

Friday, August 12, 2011
By Neha Ghatpande

Alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) threatens to burn his doctorate degree in the campus on Monday, August 15, after receiving no reply for his open letter to the Director of IIT about the corruption and malpractices in the department of Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering (CESE). Suresh Verghese, 39, who received his PhD in Climate Change from IIT in 2005, believes that there is no proper system followed by CESE to guide PhD students.

“The evaluation procedure for students is faulty and faculty members, especially my guide, had no contribution in the research papers that I have published but I had to include his name, in the international scientific fraternity.  Such act is regarded a crime if a name is included without substantial contribution in any research paper,” Verghese explained.

As a research student of IIT, Verghese thought it was a norm to include the guide’s name and he also confesses to be afraid of having enough knowledge to challenge the faculty, but as of now the frustration has reached its limit as he has seen other students going under similar trauma.

Verghese had sent a letter to the Director in May 2011, but he is yet to receive reply.

“There are many cases of student leaving the institute or the Centre in midway through their research work. In such cases, students are accused of incompetent for research work. The research in the Centre is mostly restricted to applied category and less demanding than many other departments in IIT,” he said.

According to Varghese, the guides in this department hardly have any expertise in the research topics chosen by the students. Students have to include their names to complete the course in their thesis and the guides take undue advantage of it. If any student tries to question the authority, they have to face humiliation or torture, which is very unjust.

“By burning the degree certificate I want to boost the morale of the suffering students and want to file a case against some of the people in the department, they might feel confident enough to take the action,” he said . 

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