ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Teaching and Research

Let me congratulate Maithreyi Krishnaraj for pointing out the quality of teaching as the chief determinant of the quality of research in social sciences in India (“Quality of Teaching and Research”, EPW, 27 August 2011). As a person with long years of experience of university teaching in India, I have always felt that many do not take teaching as a serious activity in India. If the professor or lecturer is good in his profession, he/she concentrates more on engaging in professional services and network building than on teaching or doing serious research. An evaluation of the quality of teaching in terms of its contents, coverage and delivery has never been a consideration for academic advancement in our universities and colleges. In most of the institutions, there does not exist any mechanism for a thorough assessment of the quality of teaching. As teaching is not rigorously carried out in class rooms, students are never well equipped with theory and analytical tools in the subjects that they study, as a result of which when they take up research careers in the future, they are not able to do a good job.

On research, one can say with a good degree of confidence that research supervision is not a very seriously pursued activity. A good number of research supervisors are not competent enough to carry out the job, as they themselves did not have an opportunity to receive thorough training as PhD scholars. Those who are good researchers spend more time on their own research than on the work of their students. Many of the supervisors have either not published or are not well trained to publish in standard professional journals.

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