Mahatma Gandhi University

Institute for Intensive Research in Basic Sciences (IIRBS)


Institute for Intensive Research in Basic Sciences (IIRBS)
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  Integrated Interdisciplinary PhD Programme (MSc.+PhD)
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Institute for Intensive Research in Basic Sciences (IIRBS)

A knowledge centre comprising of Sophisticated Instrumentation Facility, instructor-led classroom teaching and technology–enhanced learning techniques, first of this kind among the universities in Kerala, has been instituted in the campus of Mahatma Gandhi University. The Institute provides intellectual, instrumental as well as experimental support for pursuing excellence in all branches of sciences and is expected to contribute to the talent pool of researchers and specialized technicians. Functioning independently under the direction of the Vice Chancellor, the institute envisages high priority research and dynamic academic programmes in the interdisciplinary areas and operates through a single window system to expedite targets on time. The institute is conducting an integrated interdisciplinary MS programme and is in the process of launching an integrated Ph.D programme. Both these programmes are innovative insofar as it seeks to create scientists who also have a deep appreciation of humanities and envisages creating a talent pool of highly competent and motivated scientists who will expand the frontiers of science by engaging in cutting edge scientific research across the physical, the chemical and the biological sciences.

Integrated Ph.D Programme (after 10+2+3)

The primary aim of the integrated PhD programme being introduced at IIRBS under the aegis of Mahatma Gandhi University is to identify talented and dedicated Bachelor's degree holders with a keen sense of scientific enquiry and motivate them to pursue high priority research in frontier areas of science.

The programme is introduced in a way similar to such programmes at national institutes of repute (IIT's and IISER's) and is expected to lead to high quality research output in the form of quality publications and patents.

The program consists of a flexible course work, an internship-type laboratory training (where in ample opportunities exist for the candidate to acquire basic experimental skills and familiarity with advanced techniques for research), research project to demonstrate attainment of a high degree of scientific ability followed by advanced research on a specific topic leading to Ph.D thesis. It is expected that students entering this program save nearly on an average of one year compared to those who go for a 2 years Master's degree programs elsewhere and then join the Institute for Ph.D program. Course work and research are complimentary and the PhD candidates are expected to complete both in 5 years. The programme, first of its kind among the universities in Kerala is expected to make the academic atmosphere more vibrant.

Rules and Regulation for the Integrated Ph.D Programme

  I. Eligibility

Candidates with Bachelor's degree in Chemistry/ Physics/ Biology/ Mathematics under 10+2+3 systems are eligible to apply for admission to Integrated PhD program. And also candidates with BE/B.Tech/B.Pharm/medical/paramedical sciences/ any Engineering or Science based bachelor's degree holders including agricultural sciences (with minimum 60% of marks) are eligible. The candidate should have done mathematics either in the +2 level or bachelors level as one of the subjects.

Chemistry stream: B Sc/ BE/ B.Tech or equivalent degree with Chemistry as one of the subjects with Mathematics at Plus 2 level.

Physics stream: B Sc/ BE/ B.Tech or equivalent degree with Physics and Mathematics at plus 2 level.

Biology stream: B Sc/ BE/ B.Tech or equivalent degree in Physical, Chemical or Biological Sciences (including Pharmaceutical, Veterinary, Biotechnology and Agricultural Sciences) with Biology as one of the subjects in Plus 2 level

Mathematical stream: B Sc/ BE/ B.Tech or equivalent degree with Physics and Chemistry at plus 2 level.

Those in the final year of their qualifying examination and awaiting results are also eligible to apply. However, they should have completed all the requirements for the award of the qualifying degree, including all examinations, dissertation projects, viva-voce, etc., by the time of joining.

Annual student intake : maximum of eight students (initially) depending on the availability of suitable candidates (maximum strength is forty scholars over a period of five years).

II. Admission

The selection procedure consists of a thematic objective (50% weightage)-cum-comprehensive (50% weightage) test followed by a final selection camp to test their aptitude for scientific research and experimental skill.

III. Fellowship

Fellowship will be given for all the admitted students for five years.

Initial fellowship is an amount of Rs.6000/ month for the first two years and then Rs.10000/ month from the third year onwards.

The Integrated Programme Advisory committee (IPAC) will be evaluating students annually and if the academic and research progress is not satisfactory then the fellowship will be terminated. Institute assistantship is a mandatory responsibility of every fellowship holder. The institute assistantship duties include managing the sophisticated instrumentation facility, lab supervision, teaching assistant ship (grading, tutorial sessions, etc.), library duties and other administrative duties of the institute. The assistantship duties will be allocated to the students by the Director of the institute.

Research Areas Offered by the Institute

The emphasis will be on offering interdisciplinary research areas within biological, physical, chemical and mathematical sciences. Since the institute is still in its formative years, the following interdisciplinary areas will be given priority. More frontier areas will be added to this list as and when faculty and infrastructure needed for offering the same are identified/ acquired by the institute.

Medicinal chemistry, synthesis of bioactive molecules, Organic and inorganic hybrid molecules for functional evaluation, Organometallic chemistry, Catalysis, Molecules for chiral discrimination, Designing of catalysts for the preparation of enantiomerically pure compounds. Microbial production of organic molecules. Application of NMR, CSP for liquid chromatographic separations, Computational chemistry, Solid state chemical technology. Materials for energy storage and generation, Chirotechnology, Green chemical technology, bio-production of organic molecules, phytochemistry, pharmacognosy, ecotechnologies (such as phytoremediation, bioremediation, algal-oil and biomass, neutraceuticals, biofertilizers, biopesticides and conservation biology,

The decision regarding the area of doctoral work and the area of the award of the PhD (Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics) will be decided by the Integrated Programme Advisory committee (IPAC, see section V.1).

IV. Course and Credit System

Each course has a certain number of credits which describe its weightage. A student's performance is measured by the number of credits that the student has completed satisfactory. A minimum grade point average is required to be maintained for satisfactory progress in the course work and continuing in the program. Also a minimum number of earned credits should be acquired in order to qualify for the degree.

The courses are offered either by direct personal engagement or by pre-recorded video presentations. In addition, some of the courses will be covered by tutorials-discussions, lab tasks, minor and major research projects, assignments, seminars ,workshops, preparation of reviews - monographs, resource generation camps, off campus visits and instrumental methods as directed by the institute from time to time.

Credit(s) of a course will be given on the basis of following criteria.

For all class room and video lectures, one credit per lecture/week/semester will generally be adopted with the restriction of a maximum of three credits per course. All laboratory and experimental/ project courses will generally have one credit for a minimum of 3 hours per week. Laboratory courses with a larger number of contact hours per week/semester up to 6 hours per week will have two credits.

In addition to active participation in class assignments and activities that demonstrates professionalism, preparation, utilization of course textbooks and resources like web domain, reflective practices and the integration of course content with field-based experiences and student teaching

Students are encouraged to develop a timeline for the semester for accomplishing the tasks required

The hybrid courses are taught through contact class, meetings, consultations with the facilitator and online tasks and assignments. Students are expected to use available technology, internet, assignments, interacting with classmates and the professor, off campus exposure for completing course contents .

Some courses are taught partly in seminar mode with each student presenting a classical paper of the field.

All courses should be completed in a minimum of 5 semesters and maximum of 6 semesters.

The minimum credit requirement is 87 including core courses and electives.

Class room instructions for the integrated Ph.D programme is classified into three types.

1. Preparatory level Courses ( PL– minimum requirement 37 Credits )

2. Masters Level Courses ( ML – minimum requirement 36 Credits)

3. Doctoral Level Courses (DL– minimum requirement 14 Credits)

Research Seminars

Prior to submission of the thesis, the students should submit two reviews/research reports (to be evaluated) and present seminars as follows.

General seminar (1 st semester)

Preliminary seminar for identifying research area of interest (2 nd semester)

Seminar on research topic (3 rd semester)

Progress monitoring seminar (every semester from the 4 th semester onwards)

Pre – Synopsis seminar (final seminar)

V. Monitoring and Evaluation of the Integrated Ph.D Programme

  1. Integrated Programme Advisory Committee (IPAC)

Academic and research activities of the integrated master's and doctoral programmes of the institute is monitored and evaluated by the Integrated Programme Advisory committee (IPAC). IPAC will be constituted by the Vice Chancellor incorporating Director as the convenor and faculties from the university departments with a minimum of three experts in different disciplines from other reputed institutions. The total strength of the IPAC should be 7 including the Director (convenor). Research topic and research guide will be allocated to individual students by IPAC after evaluating the Preliminary seminar and review (for the context of research). In the case of any deviation arises from the stated regulations IPAC is the final body to take the decisions with the approval of Vice Chancellor. The IPAC will be evaluating students annually and if the academic and research progress is not satisfactory then the registration will be terminated.

2. Doctoral Assessment Committee (DAC)

After the successful completion of the Preliminary seminar (second semester), depending on the nature of the research problem a doctoral committee will be constituted by the Director with the prior approval of the Vice Chancellor. The doctoral assessment committee consist of a minimum of four faculty members (PhD holders from the field of research topic) with the research supervisor as convenor for monitoring the research work.

  3. Course Assessment

3.1 Class Room Instructions

Assignments/quiz/ dicipline: 25%

In Semester Examinations: 25%

End Semester Examination: 50%

  3.2 Laboratory Task

Class Experiments (In Semester): 35%

Report (In Semester): 15%

Experimental Task/ Target Achievement: 50%

3.3 Research Project and Seminar Evaluation

Evaluation of experimental tasks, minor and major projects, seminar and review preparation etc. is based on the following criteria.

1. Overall approach and sincerity

2. Skill, depth of coverage, Quantum and quality

3. Clarity of presentation.

4. Management of question/answer period

5. Creativity and original contribution in terms of original publications

  4. Grading

4.1 Theory and Practical Courses

The grades awarded to a student in any particular course will be based on the student's performance in the in-semester tests (usually two), end-semester tests, quizzes, assignments, laboratory work, workshops and various other outdoor academic assignments. The distribution of the weightage will be decided by the course coordinator. Conversion of percentage of marks scored into grades based on the University guidelines as in the following scale.

95% and above: S

85% and above, but below 95%: A+

75% and above, but below 85%: A

65% and above, but below75%: A-

55% and above, but below 65%: B+

45% and above, but below 55%: B

40% and above, but below 45%: B-

Below 40%: C (fail)

4.2 Attendance

97% and above: S

94% and above, but below 97%: A+

91% and above, but below 94%: A

88% and above, but below 91%: A-

85% and above, but below 88%: B+

82% and above, but below 85%: B

80% and above, but below 82%: B-

Below 80%: C (fail)

Any exemption from the above grading stipulation for attendance can be considered by IPAC (for example medical reasons). In genuine cases, a student with attendance below 80%, upto a maximum of 10% attendance can be given by the IPAC with the consultation of the Vice Chancellor.

All the students registered for the PhD programme should have to maintain a minimum overall grade of B­- until the end of the fourth semester and B+ grade during the fifth semester (Doctoral level courses) to continue in the programme.

A student who fails in the core and elective courses of the Ph.D programme will be given another make up examination. Students who fail in the makeup examination will be given an opportunity to repeat the course. Inability to clear the course after these extra chances will lead to the termination of the student from the programme.

In particular cases where a student is unable to fulfil the requirements of the PhD programme he/she may be advised to take a project option which can be considered for an MS degree subject to the recommendation of IPAC. In such a case, a project will be assigned for an year after completing the second year course work. In the project option, student should complete the assigned project and submit a project report to IPAC which will be evaluated for recommending the MS degree.

  5. Comprehensive Examination

Students will have to take a comprehensive examination at the end of the 5 th semester after successful completion of the course work. Those who fail in this examination may be given a repeat examination within 6 months. Those who fail in the repeat comprehensive examination will be encouraged to take the project option leading to MS degree. For qualifying the comprehensive examination 60% of the marks (oral and written together) should be obtained by the candidates.

  5.1 Comprehensive Examination Assessment

Written Examination: 50%

Oral Examination: 50%

VI. Original Research Work & Award of PhD Degree

In addition to the above course requirements, the students admitted to the programme should have scientific contributions in at least three national level conferences, among them one preferably international level conference, related to their research work.

After the successful completion of all the course work with required credit points [87] the students have to devote all the time for carrying out original research work which was initiated in the second semester.

Identification of the research topic is done after a rigorous literature survey during the second semester. During the second semester student should give a Preliminary seminar after a thorough literature survey for identifying the research area of interest. Student should submit a report to IPAC based on the literature survey and the preliminary seminar including the recommendation of IPAC.

The IPAC will assign a research topic and research guide after evaluating student's Preliminary seminar and report.

Students will be allowed to give pre synopsis seminar only after accepting/publishing minimum of one article in international journals of repute (preferably with an impact factor not less than one) as decided by the Doctoral Assessment Committee (DAC).

Simultaneously MS & Ph.D degrees will be awarded after the successful completion of the open defense of the original research work.

After completion of the fourth semester an MS degree (which is equivalent to MSc. Degree) will be awarded to students who qualify national level tests conducted by CSIR-UGC/IIT/ICMR/ICAR etc. for the sake of receiving the fellowship. The submission of thesis will be delayed until the publication of research articles with required impact factor decided by the DAC.

After the successful completion of the final seminar (after completion of the PhD work) the scholar will be allowed to submit the Synopsis of the PhD thesis (prior to submission of the PhD thesis) to the Integrated Programme Assessment Committee.

It is mandatory that the research scholar has to submit the PhD thesis within three months from the date of submission of the synopsis.

The Vice Chancellor will select three examiners from a panel of eight national and international experts (Ph.D holders with experience in the specified field of research from institutes of excellence) submitted by the thesis supervisor (convenor) for adjudication of the (evaluating) thesis.

The examiner is expected to give his report within a month, failing which a reminder should be sent. If no report is received within two months, the VC may appoint another examiner from the original panel. Subsequently it is the responsibility of the IPAC to get the thesis evaluated within three months.

The PhD thesis evaluation report will be placed before the IPAC either for the recommendation for the award, modification or rejection of the thesis . After receiving all positive reports the IPAC will consider for the recommendation for the award of the degree. In case of negative report(s) the thesis will be sent to revaluation (maximum two times). In case of repeated rejection by any of the examiners the student will be asked to resubmit the thesis by the IPAC. In general, IPAC takes the final decision on the submission of thesis and recommendation for the award of the degree.

The required fees should be remitted to the University and all the administrative matters up to the open defense shall be done at the institute level to avoid delay in awarding the PhD degree.

  1. Requirement for the Award of the PhD Degree

1. Successful completion of the course work with the required grades.

2. Successfully pass the comprehensive examination.

3. Publish a minimum of one research article in international journals of repute (preferably with an impact factor not less than one) as decided by the doctoral committee (DAC).

4. The students admitted to the programme should have scientific contributions in at least three conferences (preferably 2 national level and one international conferences) related to their research work.

4. Complete the Pre-synopsis seminar (final seminar)

5. Thesis submission

6. Thesis defense

7. All the students who registered for the integrated PhD programme should maintain an up-to-date Course diary from the date of registration. The Course diary contains all the record of their academic and research progress like courses registered, credit obtained, seminar given, comprehensive examination, Ph.D synopsis, etc. duly signed by the research guide and IPAC convenor.

  VII. Leave

Student must submit an application for leave to the Director forwarded by the advisor.

  The above rules and regulations are called the regulations for the Integrated Ph.D Programme offered by the Institute for Intensive Research in Basic Sciences (IIRBS), Mahatma Gandhi University. These rules may be reviewed after two years of implementation of the Programme. All the registered candidates of the programme are strictly bound by this rules and regulations. The institute is responsible for all the academic and administrative responsibilities of the programme from admission to the conduct of the PhD open defense. Upon successful completion of the open defense certified by the IPAC the PhD degree will be awarded by the university under the faculty of integrated Science programmes

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