NAGPUR: The () has again refused to disclose information under Right To Information (RTI) Act to an acquaintance of a scholar whose proposal was rejected by the Research Recognition Committee (RRC) in January.
Strangely enough, the PhD cell asked the applicant to visit the office to obtain the information.
After qualifying for registration, scholars make presentations of research synopsis before the RRC which finally decides their fate.
The aggrieved scholar, through his acquaintance, had asked about venue and complete schedule of the RRC meetings, names of panel members, time given to each candidate, how many students appeared for RRC interviews, whether any timetable was prepared, how many interviews took place on October 29, 2018, gadgets for power-point presentation, in-camera proceedings, etc.
In January, the applicant, who doesn’t wish to be named, had filed the RTI query in three sets as the number of questions were more.
In its single reply dated February 16, the PhD cell stated that the information sought was ‘elaborative’ in nature and related to third-party which couldn’t be provided to the applicant under Section 11 of the RTI Act.
Contrary to its own reply, the cell further wrote that the applicant was free to visit it during office timings and check the information related to ordinance and direction. It also asked the applicant to refer the directions on website.
The scholar told TOI that since NU keeps changing directions, he wanted to know what norms were followed in his case as per official record.
TOI has been reporting about the NU’s apathy towards PhD scholars and entire procedure followed during registration. On December 23, this paper had highlighted how research was moving at a snail’s pace at NU.
The delayed process left this scholar in the lurch as well. One of the RTI queries was about delay in declaring the RRC approvals. The scholar said the RRC interviews were held in October last year, while the letters were released in January. “In between this duration, PhD entrance test (PET) was too conducted. Candidates like me could have appeared again if we had known that our proposal would be rejected,” the scholar said.
The scholar claimed that he was aware some experts were related to candidates appearing in the RRC. “Hence, the question regarding declaration from RRC members if any of their relative(s), student or colleague was appearing was not answered,” he said.
The scholar said his synopsis wasn’t properly studied by the expert and was rejected because of “prejudice” against his guide. “I wasn’t given sufficient time during the interviews to defend my synopsis. I am sure none of the members goes through them. I had asked for proof that the experts were given copies of the proposals in advance. How can this be confidential or third party when the results have been declared,” the scholar said.