Pursuing PhD from Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU) is getting tougher with each passing year. The stringent norms and new selection criteria laid by the varsity to ensure that only the most desirable candidate was selected for doing research work has led to sharp decline in the number of aspirants qualifying for the PhD. This year number of students passing the first phase of qualifying examinations has hit the rock bottom.
Only 12% candidates managed to clear the PhD entrance test (PET-I) conducted by the Nagpur University in December last year. In all 1996 had appeared in the exam of which only 236 made it to the second phase of the examination (PET-II), scheduled to be held on January 12.
According to university sources, the pass percentage dropped by 15.41% this year.Â Last year, 279 had cleared the PET-I when the negative marking was hiked to half a mark for every wrong answer from a 1/4thÂ mark.
Interestingly the second phase of PET would be conducted for 38 subjects only, which means no PhD would be awarded in remaining 35 courses.
Business Administration and Business Management (31) closely followed by Mechanical Engineering (30) got the most number of successful candidates. The engineering faculty tops the chart with 89 successful candidates under different branches this time too.
English was the only language subject where just one candidate has cleared the first entrance test while the final tally rests on PET-II outcome. Thirty-three subjects in all had successful candidates in single digits between 1 and 9.Â Â Seven subjects had just one candidate each clearing the exam.
Meanwhile, the low pass percentage hasnâ€™t disappointed research guides. A PhD supervisor lauded the NU administration saying the PET-I is all about general awareness, logical thinking and reasoning capabilities. The minimum pass score is 50% which the supervisor feels is not a big task for serious aspirants.