The University Grants Commission (UGC) has granted a six-month extension for submission of the thesis to MPhil and PhD students in wake of the prolonged closure of universities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier, the students were granted an extension till December 31. However, the same has been extended till June 30 now but the tenure of fellowship for PhD and MPhil will remain the same--5 years.
"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the universities have remained closed for the past several months. Therefore, the students have not been able to conduct their research or experiments in the university laboratories nor they were able to access library services that are critical for completion of the thesis," UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain said.
The UGC had on April 29 issued guidelines on examination and academic calendar for the universities in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. As per these guidelines, an extension of six months was conveyed for MPhil and PhD students who were to submit their dissertation or thesis.
"In view of the above and in the larger interest of the research scholars, a further extension of six months for terminal MPhil and PhD students, who were supposed to submit their thesis by December 31, may be granted by the universities till June 30. "Extension of six months, as mentioned above, may also be granted for submitting evidence of publication and presentation in two conferences. However, the tenure of the fellowship of MPhil and PhD will be the same (5 years)," he added.
Universities were closed in March in order to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. A nationwide lockdown was announced later. The Centre has permitted the phase-wise reopening of varsities and colleges for research scholars and final year students while the majority of teaching-learning activities continue to be done online.
The decision about reopening of varsities and higher educational institutions has been left to state governments.