Gradual return to the labs to revive research at DU
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To revitalize research education, Delhi University (DU) has enabled the gradual entry of registered PhD students, whose presence in the laboratory is essential. Before entering the research laboratory, candidates must receive a certificate from their respective supervisor and further confirmed by the department head or director of the center.

“Obtaining a certificate to join the laboratory may be easy, but continuing research will not be easy. Establishing communication between the team, monitoring the experiments, providing care from providers, etc. are other immediate challenges for PhD students, ”says Ranjay Shaw, research scientist in the Department of Chemistry at Delhi University (DU). Ranjay, a native of Dhanbad in Jharkhand, has lived in Delhi for five years. He couldn’t go to his hometown because of lockdown.

Speaking to the Education Times, Ranjay says that those who are in the middle of their PhD are comparatively better positioned than those who should complete their PhD by the end of April.

“I submitted my pre-synopsis before the lockdown began in March and planned to complete further work by mid-April. If it hadn’t been for the negative situation due to the coronavirus, I would apply for interviews, ”says Ranjay, who is now struggling with finances since his scholarship period has expired. “The submission of the doctoral thesis is still pending and the current situation has let me down.”

BK Singh, assistant professor in the North Campus Department of Chemistry, says it will take time to get students back to work with the same enthusiasm. “Those who do their PhD shortly after completing their postgraduate studies are enthusiastic. Motivation may wane as they return to work after a five-month break. They have to repeat the same experiments that could not be completed due to the lockdown and closure of educational institutions, ”says Singh. He adds that the COVID-19 outbreak is having a cascading effect on PhD students as uncertainty persists.

“Cessation of educational activities and non-payment of the scholarship during lockdown are other issues researchers face,” says Singh.

The university initially only admitted high-ranking doctoral students. “Depending on the result, young researchers will gradually be admitted,” he adds.

The department has prepared a slot so that students can resume work in their respective laboratories. At any point in time, the total number of students will not exceed 2-3 students per research laboratory.

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