New Delhi: Amid a second wave of Covid-19 in India, the union government has now granted a six-month extension to M.Phil and Ph.D students for submission of thesis and research work. This is the third extension given by the education regulator since the country declared a pandemic induced lockdown in March 2020.
The fresh extension will now allow thousands of MPhil and PhD candidates to submit their thesis by end of December 2021, the university grants commission (UGC) has informed universities
“Keeping in view the larger interest of the research scholars, a further extension of six months beyond 30.06.2021 i.e till 31st December 2021, for submission of thesis by M.Phil/Ph.D students may be granted by the Universities,” UGC said.
“Extension of six months, as mentioned above, may also be granted for submitting evidence of publication and presentation in two conferences,” according to Rajnish Jain, secretary of higher education regulator UGC.
However, the tenure of fellowship will remain up to five years only. It means, all those PhD candidates whose five year of doctoral education were getting over by June 2020 will not get fellowships for the extended time period.
In April 2020, the UGC had issued guidelines on examination and academic calendar for the universities in view of the coronavirus pandemic and related lockdown. As per the initial guidelines the extension of six months was granted till 31 Dec and which was then extended to 30 June and with the fresh directive it now gets extended further to 31 Dec 2021.
The fresh order comes as India is witnessing a surge in Covid-19 positive cases marring the perspective of reopening colleges and universities. Institutions in some states have again closed down amid the surge. And there are local restrictions in parts of India to deal with the increasing numbers.
Educational institutions went into a lockdown in mid-March last year and most of them have not opened up yet. As they were planning to open up ahead of the new academic session, the second wave of the pandemic has made this uncertain. For last several months, the union government has entrusted the institutions and states to take a call on reopening depending upon the local situation but has mandated them to follow covid-19 safety protocols when the start open up.