By Mehboob Inamdar
Aurangabad, April 7:
COVID 19 lockdown is a curse of many but, it has proved a boon for researchers as a total of 340 researchers completed Ph D online in Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (Bamu) during the last nine months.
It may be noted that the Government announced a complete lockdown across the State in the last week of March 2020 with the spread of COVID.
All the educational activities institutions, including universities and colleges, were halted because of the shutdown.
Many researchers used their lockdown period to complete their Ph D research.
There was no facility to submit a thesis and conduct viva voce of researchers online since the university had no norms for this.
The researchers, special international students, were eager to complete their Ph D and leave for their country because of the pandemic virus situation.
Vice-chancellor Dr Pramod Yeole and his team prepared rules and regulation to paved way for the online viva voce.
Hundreds of candidates submitted their thesis online. On receiving experts opinions on their thesis, BAMU made arrangement for an online oral test.
In the traditional system, two referees who are expert in the subject are called for oral test in the department. The university had to make arrangement for lodging, travel and meal of experts. It is a tiresome and time-consuming task.
More than 340 candidates completed Ph D research and appeared for online viva voce from June 2020 to the present day.
Commenting on this, VC Dr Pramod Yeole said the online viva voce is saving time and money of researchers.
“In post-COVID situation, there is a need for major changes in education, research, and teaching-learning processes. Our university started an online oral test of Ph D candidate so that all education activities must go on. The online system will continue even in coming days”, he added.
Mansour Almaswari, a Yemeni researcher who was the first foreign candidate to appear for online viva voce, said that in COVID period, educational life has become more virtual than real.
“The lockdown has opened the doors for plenty of applications and methods to substitute regular learning -teaching and research processes. PhD Viva voces, for example, were not expected to be conducted online at all. But it became a sole alternative for the researchers and academicians. I myself conducted my viva voce online last August 2020 and it was a very exciting experience as I was the first foreign researcher in the Department of English to have his viva voce online,” he said.
Mansour said that the online method helped him a lot to invite his far friends, family members, relatives, colleagues, juniors and seniors here and in Yemen, and even the head of the diplomatic mission in Mumbai, Ambassador Yahya Ghobar to be part of the occasion, which would be impossible if the online mode was not approved.