RONO HILLS, Nov 24: The Rajiv Gandhi University Research Scholars’ Forum (RGURSF) on Tuesday urged RGU Registrar Dr NT Rikam to draw the administration’s attention towards issues being faced by the scholars in carrying out research works due to suspension of hostel accommodation.
The forum has urged the university administration to allow “reentry of the research scholars into the campus, access to library, labs and hostel accommodation.”
The memorandum submitted by the RGURSF highlighted that, since the declaration of the nationwide closure of universities and colleges in March, continuity in many research works have been disrupted.
“Researchers are facing hurdles in carrying out their work as staying out of campus has deprived them of adequate time with respective supervisors. Many are facing financial difficulties to accommodate themselves in rented houses and commutation problem is one of the aspects. Moreover, research works of scholars from life sciences are dependent upon experiments carried out in the laboratory and are required to visit departments on a daily basis. Coupled with such problems, scholars’ community is gravely affected,” said RGURSF general secretary Prem Taba.
He said the scholars have a limited tenure of 3-5 years to complete their research work, out of which six months have already passed due to the lockdown.
Research scholars need an environment of discussion, common study space, library facility, good internet connection
to access various journals, and concentrated minds to focus on their research activities, which is very difficult at home for many, Taba said.
“The experimental research of scholars is suffering badly due to the inaccessibility of lab facilities. The PhD/MPhil scholars, who are not on any fellowship programmes, are also finding it difficult to pay rents outside,” Taba said, and added that universities like the JNU, the DU, the BHU, the Dibrugarh University and others have already begun giving hostel accommodation to their research scholars.
Taba also emphasized on the new guidelines issued by the UGC on reopening of colleges and universities, wherein it is mentioned that the higher educational institutions outside containment zones would be allowed to open and students of the research programmes in science and technology programmes may join the institution as the number of such students is comparatively less and the norms of physical distancing and preventive measures can be easily enforced.
“The guidelines also instructed that hostels may be reopened in cases necessary while strictly observing safety and preventive measures and sharing of rooms should not be allowed. The guidelines explicitly stated that in the case of central universities, the authority to decide on such matters lies with the vice chancellor. Moreover, all scholars’ hostels, viz, Tissa, Dibang, Panyor and Siang, have single room occupants unlike PG hostels; therefore safe distance can be maintained,” he stated.
In view of the plight of the research scholars, the RGURSF GS urged the university to constitute a committee to take a decision in the matter and allow for reopening in a phase-wise manner.
Dr Rikam gave assurance that the matter would be looked into and taken up during the 25 November meeting with the deans of all faculties. “RGU may consider allowing phase-wise entry of students,” he said.