Research scholars breathe easy during pandemic period

Online viva-voce becomes the new normal

Research scholars on the verge of completion of their Ph.D. programmes are not unduly worried about the possible lockdown due to the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, now that online viva-voce exam has come to stay.

It was through online viva-voce exam that Ph.D. qualification was awarded to at least one-fourth of the 2,139 candidates who received their doctorate degrees recently from Bharathidasan University, Controller of Examinations S. Srinivasa Raghavan said.

This factor is common for all other universities as well.

According to senior professors, online viva-voce for Ph.D. scholars has meant saving on huge expediture that is otherwise incurred towards cost of travel and accommodation of guide and external examiners some of them who come from other States.

"It is easier for the people to take part in the viva-voce session with smart phones. All they need to do is to spare their time wherever they are. Candidates usually take part in the viva-voce sessions sitting in front of laptops of desktops," said Prof. Raghavan, adding that colleges in their quest for improving their rating by NAAC have put in place sufficient ICT infrastructure that are well-suited to conduct the viva-voce sessions.

It is, of course, disadvantageou for students from rural parts where Internet connectivity is low. Otherwise, this system is as much effective as offline viva-voce sessions, college heads acknowledge.

The University had, last year, issued an instruction to universities to conduct PhD and MPhil viva exams through video conferencing, in the interests of the students.

The UGC had suggested that the Ph.D. and M. Phil. viva -voce Examinations could be conducted through video conferencing using Google, Skype, Microsoft Technologies or any other reliable and mutually convenient technology.

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