RV University launches Ph.D. Programme to promote research

Bengaluru: In its quest to be a research-intensive University, Bengaluru-based RV University (RVU) has launched a Ph.D. programme in its very first academic year. In the current admission cycle, the Ph.D. programme will be offered in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Economics and Finance. A practice-based Ph.D. will be available in the next admission cycle in the School of Design.


In the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the focus areas for Ph.D. are Film Studies; Organisational Psychology; Law; Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies; Political Science (Indian Political Thought and Indian Politics); International Relations; Modern Indian History (Socio-Cultural History of Modern India) and Indology. In the School of Economics and Finance, applications are invited in the fields of Economics; Marketing; Finance and Banking; Organisational Behaviour & Human Resources; and Strategy.


Both full-time and part-time Ph.D. options are available. The part-time option is meant to enable candidates who are in employment to pursue doctoral studies. RVU has a team of faculty with many years of experience in academia and practice, who will offer research supervision. There will be two admission cycles in an academic year.


RVU has established collaborations with several national and international Universities and institutions, such as the University of Essex, the Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies (University of Edinburgh), the Justice Initiative Foundation- Bangalore, and many others. The University is now in the process of firming up collaborations with international universities for joint PhD programmes, which would allow Ph.D. scholars to earn a doctoral degree from two Universities: RVU and the partner University.


The call for applications for admission to the doctoral programme is now live at https://rvu.edu.in/phd/ . Applications are invited from candidates who have a Master’s degree, with a minimum aggregate of 55% marks. The deadline for submission of applications is November 13, 2021. Eligible candidates will be invited for the selection procedure, which includes a written entrance test, followed by a viva voce examination. The website provides further details about fee structure.


The seven research centres that RVU has already established will also provide a vibrant environment for doctoral scholars. The research centres include the Centre for Sustainable Development, Centre for Community Outreach and Legal Empowerment; Centre for Visual and Performing Arts; Centre for Languages; Centre for the Future of Things; Centre for Elections and Democracy; and the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Contemporary Ethics.


Welcoming the launch of Doctoral programme, Professor Y.S.R. Murthy, Vice Chancellor, RV University said, “There are many teaching universities but RV University aspires to be different and wishes to have a research focus right from inception. We want to be known for academic and research excellence, and our students to get involved in research right from the under graduate level. The international collaborations that we have forged with many partners across different continents will take our Ph.D. programme to a different level.”


Commenting on the institutional infrastructure for research, Dr. Y.S.R. Murthy further said, “We have designated an outstanding scholar, Dr. Lakshmi Arya Thathachar as the Associate Dean, Research and Chairperson of the Office of Doctoral Studies. We have also constituted a Research and Innovation Council. We have excellent faculty members who have qualifications from some of the best institutions in India and abroad, to drive our research agenda. We have formulated appropriate policies and created an enabling environment for research to flourish.”


Dr. Lakshmi Arya Thathachar has a Ph.D. in Modern Indian History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has been awarded several national and international fellowships, including a Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, a Charles Wallace Fellowship, and a Fellowship of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.


Reflecting on the launch of the doctoral programme, Dr. Lakshmi Arya said, “We often find in higher education a bifurcation between teaching and research. There are government- and private-funded research centres, which research, and there are colleges, whose primary focus is to teach. Research and teaching can, however, feed into each other. In research-intensive Universities, faculty design courses on the basis of their research, guide doctoral candidates, and publish findings. RV University is committed to creating conditions that enable research, by instituting best practices with respect to faculty research time, research centres, unique Ph.D. pathways, and research projects that ask brave, new questions.”


Dr. Lakshmi Arya Thathachar went on to observe, “A University’s primary purpose is epistemic: It is the pursuit of truth. Given how ideologically polarized current times are, there is a need to nurture research that is objective and empirically rigorous. There is also a need for developing theoretical frameworks that can explain empirical evidence.”


In the academic year 2021-22, RVU admitted its first cohort of Bachelor’s and Master’s students. The University has now taken the next step towards realizing its vision of fostering and encouraging research, by launching the Ph.D. programme. The National Education Policy 2020 emphasises that outstanding research is a “corequisite for outstanding education and development.” In keeping with this vision for higher education, RVU aspires to be a research-intensive university.