Thursday, May 26, 2005

CSIR University

A while ago, I said I was unable to verify if CSIR, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, has been granted the status of a 'deemed university' that can award advanced degrees such as M.Phil. and Ph.D.. A recent Economic Times story says it will happen soon. ET also wrote an editorial on this issue today:

... [It] would do little to remove the bane of Indian science: the disconnect between teaching and research.

The little cutting-edge research that happens is mostly conducted in institutions that are insulated from the 'dirty' world of universities. ...

We all know there are excellent National Labs (Los Alamos being a well known example) in the US, but we also know they don't get into the business of higher learning and Ph.D. degrees. Does anyone know of countries where this model of a primarily research-oriented lab awarding advanced degrees (and completely bypassing the university system in the process)?


  1. Sunil said...

    There are certain specific examples in the States (which ofcourse has a phenomenol university system). Woods Hole (MA) and the Scripps Research Institute (CA) both have graduate programs for PhDs and are primarily research labs. Scripps however does work in close collaboration with UCSD.
    In other cases, a number of national labs allow students from specific universities to do their phd's there. E.g. The applied physics lab, here at the university of Washington (its a national lab, but UW students can do phd's there).

  2. pennathur said...

    In all these cases the University concerned has a say in the qualification process and will rarely defer to the lab concerned.

  3. Sunil said...

    That is definitely true. Same with the case of TIFR and NCBS in India.....both give autonomous PhD's but under Bangalore or Mumbai Univ. I don't think a research lab is cut out to offer a comprehensive graduate degree.....though I think it is a great idea to allow students to get their phd's there, but within some university framework.