BITS Pilani

  • Page last updated on Friday, December 09, 2016

Operational Details

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Operational Details

Operational Details

   
Operation of Ph. D. Programme at BITS
 
Every candidate has to complete certain requirements during his/her Ph. D. programme as given in the following paragraphs. The process starts with applying for Ph. D. programme of the Institute and getting admitted.
 
Departmental Research Committee (DRC)
 
Each Department has a “Departmental Research Committee” (DRC), consisting of Head of Department (HOD) as ex-officio member and Chairperson, and 2 to 6 faculty members, at the level of Assistant Professor or above, who are active in research. The committee is responsible for monitoring research activity in the department.  Every candidate has to interact closely with DRC of the department he/she is concerned.
 
Doctoral Advisory Committee (DAC)
 
For each Ph.D. student, the DRC will recommend a notional thesis supervisor or mentor on the basis of department need and student’s area of interest. Further, for each Ph.D. student, the DRC will, in consultation with the notional supervisor of the student, appoint two additional members for Doctoral Advisory Committee (DAC). For students in interdisciplinary area there can be DAC member(s) from other department/campuses based on topic of research.
 
Registration
 
All the candidates have to register in every semester till the submission of his/her thesis. In the beginning of each semester, all the candidates will sign the registration card confirming their registration for the semester. This card indicates the courses in which he/she is being registered in that particular semester.
 
Registration of on-campus candidates (Full Time and Part Time) will be done by campus based Academic Registration and Counselling (ARC) Division on the day of registration. Semester fee and all other dues are to be cleared before registration in each semester.
Under exceptional conditions, a candidate can seek permission for not registering in a particular semester by making an application to the Associate Dean, ARD well before the beginning of semester giving valid reasons for the same. The application has to be recommended by the supervisor(s) and forwarded by DRC of the concerned department.  
 
Duration of Ph. D. programme
 
A student must submit his thesis within ten semesters (excluding summer terms) to be counted from the semester next to passing the qualifying examination. If the student fails to submit his thesis within stipulated period he may request the respective DRC for extension of time. Such extension for submission of thesis are limited to a maximum of four semesters. Thus, the duration for submitting final thesis (including all extensions and semester withdrawals) are limited to 14 semesters.  If a candidate fails to submit his/her final thesis during this period, he/she will be discontinued from the programme. The female candidates who have availed maternity leave during this period may be given one extra semester for thesis submission
 
Course work
 
For students admitted with First Degree as highest qualification, the DRC will, in consultation with the student’s notional supervisor and DAC members, will prescribe course work. The minimum of number of courses shall be six with minimum of 24 units. Candidate should not obtain less than D grade in any course and should have minimum CGPA of 5.50. If less than D grade is obtained, course should be repeated. On obtaining less than D grade in more than one course or CGPA less than 5.50, student shall be discontinued from the programme.
 
Students admitted with Higher Degree (HD) may also be required to do course work if he is working in different area than his area of HD or having less than 6 courses in his HD. Number of courses will be decided by the Notional Supervisor and DAC members in order to prepare the candidate to undertake research in the chosen area. Number of courses can vary from zero to 6. On successful completion of prescribed course work a Ph.D. student will be eligible to appear in qualifying examination, and can apply for the same to DRC.
 
Ph. D. Qualifying Examination
 
Each Ph.D. student must, in consultation with his/her notional supervisor, plan for and prepare to clear qualifying examinations in two areas from the list of qualifying examination areas identified by each department. One of these must be in the sub-discipline in which he/she proposes to undertake research. An application should be made to DRC in the format provided through notional supervisor to appear in the qualifying examination. Qualifying examination will consist of written test followed by an oral test.
 
At the beginning of each semester, the DRC of each department will announce dates in that semester for holding qualifying examination in each of the sub-disciplines.
 
For research sub area click here. For syllabus of qualifying examination, please visit the respective department website.
 
Topic of Research & Supervisor
 
Once a Ph.D. student clears the required qualifying examination, he/she, in consultation with his/her notional supervisor and the DAC members, will decide upon the topic, the co-supervisor (if required), submit a research proposal and give a presentation to the DAC members. For preparation of proposal, candidate should carry out a comprehensive literature search, understand the background and scope of research in the particular area of interest. Based upon DAC recommendation, the DRC will recommend for approval of
 
(i) supervisor (and co-supervisor),
 
(ii) the research topic together with the detailed proposal and its summary,
 
(iii) the research plan, and
 
(iv) place of research work, as per requirement. Dean, ARD in consultation with Doctoral Counselling Committee (DCC) members will grant the approval.  At this stage, the student formally becomes eligible to register in the Ph.D. thesis course.
 
Normally the approval of research proposal has to be obtained within two semesters of passing the Ph.D. qualifying examination. Registration in BITS C799T Ph.D. Thesis (10 units) is permitted only after the approval of Topic of Research and Supervisor.
 
Semester Work
 
The operation of the courses in which the candidate is registered has to be carried out as per details outlined in the course handout.  The following documents are to be submitted each semester as per schedule indicated in the calendar of events.
 
            i.    Plan of work for the semester courses in which the candidate is registered.
           ii.    Mid-Semester evaluation forms and work reports
          iii.    Final semester evaluation forms and work reports
 
Through the supervisor(s) and DAC, DRC will monitor progress of the student. At the end of each semester, grades will be communicated by DRC to Associate Dean, ARD. Non-receipt of evaluation forms and reports by the due dates may result into a `NC’ (Not Cleared) in the particular course.  Award of ‘NC’ in two consecutive semesters may debar a student from being on the rolls of Ph.D. students.
 
Pre-submission draft and Seminar
 
On completion of research, the Ph.D. student will prepare a draft thesis, and will submit two copies of the same to DRC for preliminary but detailed assessment by DAC members.  After assessment, the candidate will give pre-submission seminar in the department where DAC, DRC and other faculty members and students may also be invited. The exact title of the Thesis is also discussed at the time of pre-submission seminar.
 
Thesis Title Approval
 
After the pre-submission seminar, candidate will submit a request for title approval to DRC,) for title approval in the required format. The proposed title of the Ph.D. thesis is then approved by the DCC.
 
Thesis submission
 
The candidate can submit his/her Ph.D. thesis once the draft thesis has been approved by the DAC and his title is approved by DCC. The candidate and the Ph D supervisor, will ensure that the thesis is free from plagiarism. An anti-plagiarism software may be used for this purpose. The primary responsibility of any copyright violations in the thesis would remain with the student as the author of the thesis. Thesis along with synopsis and relevant documents are to be submitted to Convener, DRC. The supervisor will also submit a panel of 6-8 examiners in the required format to DRC.
 
Examination of thesis
Dean ARD will send the thesis with approved examiners to Registrar for necessary communication. The Registrar will communicate with examiners and send the thesis for evaluation. The thesis will be examined by three examiners appointed by the Vice-Chancellor. The supervisor(s), shall be one of the examiners. The examiners will give separate reports, each report concluding with a final and unequivocal verdict on the thesis in terms of only one of the following three alternatives
 
(i)       The thesis is approved for the viva‑voce examination, or
(ii)      The thesis requires revision and resubmission, or
(iii)     The thesis is rejected.
 
If the verdicts of the three examiners do not coincide, arrangements will be made to circulate the three reports among all the examiners and, if necessary, to convene a meeting of the three examiners so that they might arrive at unanimous verdict on one of the above three alternatives. When this process yields no unanimity or when the thesis is rejected, the student's registration in the Thesis course for that semester will be cancelled and he will be asked to discontinue from the programme and his/her grade sheet will show DP against the
Thesis course.
 
When a student has been required to revise and resubmit his/her thesis, his/her status will revert to what it was, in all respects, before he submitted his/her thesis but would not alter the original deadline for submission of the thesis. If the current last date of submission of the thesis is considered to be inadequate he must immediately request for extra time from the Doctoral Counselling Committee. The revised thesis should be examined as far as possible by the same team of examiners.
On receiving the positive recommendation of the 3 examiners, the Registrar will communicate to Dean ARD for conduct of viva-voce examination.
The viva-voce may be held at the respective campus in the presence of the (i) Supervisor, (ii) at least one external examiner, and (iii) Co-supervisor(s), if any. Once viva-voce is held, the final report will be sent to the Registrar for getting approval from Examination committee. The award of the degree will subsequently be ratified by the Senate.
 
Change of Supervisor/Topic of Research
 
A fresh approval of the DCC is required for any changes in topic of research, locale of work and/or supervisor. Candidate has to request through supervisor and DRC for the same.
 
Inter conversion of Full Time Ph D to Part Time
 
A student admitted as Full Time scholar may be allowed to take transfer to Part time scheme provided-
  • Students meet the basic eligibility criteria of Part Time student.
  • Student has completed major part of his research work as certified by the supervisor and has completed at least 20 units of Ph D thesis course.
  • The concerned Ph D supervisor, co-supervisor and respective DRC agree for such transfer.
  • The DRC may also recommend the transfer of a student from Part-Time to Full Time category, provided research positions and stipend are available. Approval for such transfers will be granted by Dean ARD in consultation with DCC.
 
Minimum academic requirements for continuation
 
A student will not be permitted to continue in the Institute under any one of the following situations:
  • He/ she fails to take or pass the Qualifying Examination within the prescribed time of two semesters (excluding summer term) after the admission.
  • His/her CGPA, where applicable, falls below 5.50 and he fails to bring it up to 5.50 within two subsequent semesters;
  • He/ she accumulates two consecutive interim 'unsatisfactory' grades in the Thesis course;
  • He/ she fails to submit his/her thesis/revised thesis within the time prescribed for him, for such submission (refer 2.16);
  • His/her thesis is rejected by the examiners;
  • His/her thesis does not receive unanimous final verdict from the examiners as required in clauses 8.30 or 8.32 of academic regulation.
  • He/ she receives final grade as ‘unacceptable’ in Thesis.
 
Of the above seven stipulations, the first four, specify the intermediate steps necessitating monitoring for a student before submission of his/her thesis. This monitoring is to be done by the DRC. The last three stipulations specify the events after the submission of the thesis and its examination by the appointed examiners. In these cases, the student will be discontinued from the programme. However, he may appeal to the Dean ARD for reinstatement giving full exposition and justification for the appeal. If the Dean ARD, decides to reinstate such a student, it will give clear instructions and conditions, consistent with overall spirit of the academic regulations that the student must fulfil after reinstatement. The verdict of the Dean ARD shall be final
 
Fee waiver, Scholarship and leave rules
 
All students have to pay tuition and other fee as mentioned in Institute Bulletin. Depending upon availability, fellowship stipend from Institute or sponsored project may be provided to the selected students. A Ph. D. student may also avail his own fellowship from other funding agencies such as CSIR/UGC,etc.
 
Leave
 
Each “Full- Time” candidate is eligible for 30 days of vacation and 15 days of casual leave in an academic year (August to July). Special casual leave of 15 days is permissible for attending conferences/workshop/symposiums/training programmes, etc. For female candidates, maternity leave of 90 days is permitted.

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