Osmania University more research-friendly
It may not be well funded, but when it comes to the morale of Ph.D. students, the Osmania University (OU) gets a better ranking from its own students. Aspects such as student-faculty interactions, strong and active student bodies, and a general sense of belongingness takes the edge off the severe stress that research scholars have to go through during their academics.
Unlike the University of Hyderabad, the State-funded universities such as OU provide a more free and informal setting for interaction between students and faculty. A student can approach any professor at anytime and resolve their doubts or problems, Kumara Swamy, a research scholar said.“In Central universities, the faculty are very good in their academics, but seem to falter when it comes to understanding the problems of students coming from backward communities and areas. This prevents them from establishing healthy relationship with the students,” he observed, adding that the faculty-student bonding helps students to overcome their problems in OU. If a student has any problem with his or her guide, the university authorities usually ensure that a new guide is allocated to him, he claimed.
The OU faculty too takes extra precautions to ensure that students are not troubled, Faculty of Social Sciences Dean, V. Ravindra Sastry said. “Due to the ongoing Telangana agitations, the OU students are usually emotionally surcharged. To deal with it the university has established a counselling cell to interact with students on a regular basis. This cell also helps in addressing the problems faced by the students,” he explained.
The peer support that one has at OU ensures that one does not get desperate, Kota Raju, university in-charge of student body PDSU said. “There is a general sense of camaraderie at OU, which is usually not the case in Central universities where each student has to worry about his own survival,” he said.
However, student pursuing Ph.D. in science faculties do face the problem of insufficient funding, another research scholar observed. “While students are taken care of in the university, improving research activity, particularly in Science departments, is a different ball game all together,” he said.
Each time a student from marginalised community suffers discrimination, the university authorities point out that they have instituted grievance cells and counselling centers for the students. But to rectify the problem, counselling should be given to the faculty, who indulge in the discriminatory activities, B. Ravi Chandran, a Ph.D. student with English and Foreign Languages University and founder of Dalit Camera, said. “It is ironic that university officials appoint faculty members to counsel the students when their own peers indulge in discriminatory practices. None of the universities have ever held counselling sessions for faculty members,” he observed.
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