Despite facing an acute shortage of teachers, Bengaluru Central University (BCU) has kick-started the PhD admission process in chemistry, mathematics, biochemistry, commerce and other mainstream subjects. The PhD admission process began on January 12 and will go on until January 30. The entrance test will be held at the Central College on February 12. Since the BCU campus is located in the heart of the city, student enrolments are not a concern.
The big worry is the faculty shortage. The BCU, established in 2017- 18 following the trifurcation of Bangalore University (BU), still does not have enough number of teachers. Some subjects do not even see 10 classes in the whole semester. Former research scholars have questioned the rationale behind the university’s decision to go ahead with the PhD programme, warning that the quality of research will likely go down. A scholar explained: “The university has gone on record about the faculty shortage. Without proper staff support, why go ahead with PhD admissions? We are concerned about the quality of research.” According to the scholar, most of the senior professors are teaching at both the universities (BCU and BU).
“When the professors are struggling to complete the syllabus, how can research students depend on them for guidance about doctoral programmes?” A senior professor serving both the universities conceded that the PhD programme would be “a burden on us”. “If teachers are recruited by the time the PhD programme starts, we can hope everything will be OK. Otherwise, the quality of research will be affected,” he said. BCU authorities are, however, confident that there are enough teachers to start the PhD programme and have promised that there would not be any compromise on quality. “Twenty-five of our affiliated colleges have postgraduate research centres. We have to encourage them. Many senior professors and guides opted for our university after the trifurcation. Once their appointments are finalised, we should not be facing this problem,” Vice-Chancellor S Japhet told.