PhD students at RU: Do some professors treat them like slaves?
The practice of ‘guru dakshina’ is quite rampant in RU: ACB reveals.
Jaipur: Arrest of two guides at Rajasthan University by anti-corruption bureau (ACB) since February last year has brought to fore the plight of hundreds of PhD students doing research work in various RU departments.
Before a court remanded assistant professor in RU’s Sanskrit department Mahipal Singh Yadav – who was arrested for taking a bribe of Rs 40,000 from a research scholar – in judicial custody, he and his middleman reportedly revealed during interrogation that the practice of ‘guru dakshina’ was quite rampant in RU.
Mahipal Singh was taking the bribe at his university quarters when an ACB team trapped him. On seeing the team, he threw the money into a washroom in his quarters, but he was caught and taken into custody.
“Most professors seems to think that research scholars should show their respect by presenting their guides with gifts in cash and kind. Scholars get monthly grant from UGC. Professors approve the bills and only then UGC releases the grant. But professors demand their cut in the money,” said a PhD student on the condition of anonymity.
Professors would have these research scholars run errands for them like buying vegetables from the market, cooking and even sweeping floors.
“It actually happens when their domestic help is on leave or doesn’t turn up for work,” said another research student.
The scare of these professors is such that the PhD student who complained against Yadav with the ACB wants to remain anonymous.
“He requested that his name should not be revealed before the media. He is scared his career will be ruined,” said an ACB officer.
It is the second case of a professor’s trap since February last year. Fifty nine-year-old head of Rajasthan University’s Zoology Department, professor P K Goyal, was held in February, 2016 while accepting bribe from a PhD scholar.
Then IG, ACB Dinesh MN visited the Rajasthan University vice-chancellor requesting him to ensure that the PhD student who complained against Goyal was not harassed.
In June 2011, the Rajasthan University faced a major embarrassment when a professor was arrested for allegedly demanding sexual favours from his student.
The victim has alleged that her research guide of the Physics department was harassing her for months.
The professor asked the girl to have sexual relations with him if she wanted to complete her PhD. Besides molesting her, he allegedly even blackmailed the student by morphing her face onto some obscene pictures.