We would like to share something which is probably the first of its kind anywhere in the world. In the afternoon of 1st August 2017, we received a letter through email from NIPER Hajipur Administration asking us to vacate the hostel within 24 hrs of the receipt of it (the letter has been attached). Reason: The institute do not have a suitable advisor to guide us after our previous advisor (who was temporary and contractual employee of the institute) resigned in mid-January, 2017.
We have been “assured” that once the appointment of new faculty would be made, we would be called back. Clearly, the order is unconstitutional, but at NIPER Hajipur, hardly anything works as per rule. NOT following NIPER Ordinance on Academic and examination is fashion here. For all NIPERs it is mandatory to follow the ordinance. Questions which are haunting us and for which we want answers are:
1. Why PhD scholars are being harassed for the mistake of the Institute? If there are no suitable guides, how we are responsible for that?
2. We were writing our thesis as all our objectives are done. How we would write our thesis at home and who would be guiding us at home?
3. Why the letter is silent about our stipend during our “forced leave” period.
4. What if NIPER Hajipur could not find any suitable candidate? How long would be our “forced leave”? and finally
5. What if the new faculty (who would also be appointed temporarily for one-year contract) refused to accept us as his student as the letter say “who may be your PhD advisor”? Where would we go then?
We, Venkateshwaran T and Bhavana Panthi, are PhD student of Department of Pharmacoinformatics, enrolled in the year 2013 at NIPER Hajipur. We started our PhD here with complete uncertainty from beginning as this institution does not run as per rules prescribed in the NIPER Ordinance, which every NIPER has to follow. Whatever the Director says, becomes the rule. None dare to ask question and in this way he is ruling the institute.
We dared to question his orders and since then we are being harassed.
We completed all our objectives (conveyed by our previous guide to the Director) and presented entire work to Student Research Committee (SRC; the Committee meant to monitor progress of a research student) on 14th January 2017, which was approved by the committee. On 17th of January 2017, our thesis advisor submitted his resignation and since then the institute hasn’t assigned any advisor having expertise in Pharmacoinformatics. The advisor and joint advisor assigned were not according to the Ordinance and hence illegal. That was the reason we refused to accept and finally it came to the level where we received the attached letter from the Deputy Registrar. Not only the content is bizarre, it also reflects the state of a National Institute and its functioning. The letter also raises a very pertinent question and that is “if there is no suitable expert in the Department of Pharmacoinformatics, how two more new PhD scholar were admitted this year and who would be guiding them”? The reason due to which we have been asked to vacate the hostel must also be applicable to new scholars who would NOT be getting their PhD advisor till the end of August as required by the NIPER Ordinance (the last date of submission of application for the recruitment of new faculties is 31st August 2017).
We have tried to reach the ministry through all possible means of communication but didn't get any positive response (It is worth to mention here that all NIPERs are under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Fertilizer and chemicals, Govt.of India). Therefore, we went to our home. On Aug 10, we got information, a ministry official visited the institute and talked to our students and said that the Forced leave order has been cancelled. However we have not got any official intimation in this regard yet.
We are in the middle of writing our thesis and without the system and specialized software, we would not be able to write anything because our work is totally based on computational drug discovery related areas. At present when we have to just submit our thesis, we are being tortured and harassed by the NIPER Hajipur administration. Past 4 - 5 months it has been very depressing and every other day we are being subjected to humiliation by the NIPER administration and faculties of other departments.
We are losing our hope fast and we are not sure if we would be able to complete our Ph.D. from here (NIPER, Hajipur). We are forced to write this with the hope that we can get some help and support from this group as we have exhausted all other channels of negotiation.
PLEASE HELP TO SAVE US FROM THIS MENTAL HARASSMENT WHICH IS BECOMING UNBEARABLE EVERY PASSING DAY.