The Doctor of Philosophy degree or the PhD degree is the highest academic degree offered by educational institutes around the world. And that is why getting a doctorate degree is quite challenging and requires great deal of hard work and patience to complete the studies. One common perception among students is that PhD degree should be done only by those who are interested in the teaching profession. This is definitely not true.
The degree of PhD is all about searching and re-searching pertinent information about an unsolved problem with the objective of creating new knowledge. And you can apply this new knowledge and the process of acquiring this new knowledge to teaching or even in the corporate field or for doing further research. This degree is also known as D.Phil in some Universities. In order to register for the PhD degree a student has to complete his or her Master level degree in the respective field of study and/or clear a required competitive examination such as College based examinations or the GRE/GATE etc.
Usual steps for conducting a research
Doing a doctoral degree involves certain key steps like deep review of existing knowledge which is usually found in written documents or by facing real situations, based on this study, identifying a problem and formulating a question, again doing literature reviews, collecting and analyzing data, finding a solution to your problem and finally putting the solution in the form of a thesis and presenting it in an international or national level conference and/or submitting the same in related journals. With these steps you can finish your research work and can easily earn the PhD degree after defending your work. While pursuing your PhD degree at a particular University (for example in USA, India) you may have to do an additional course work or language study during the period of study. However countries like UK do not have course work requirements for their doctoral studies. Such course works are evaluated based on some credit hour requirements or one or two years of intensive full time class study. Students may be required to take some internal examinations related to the course work topics and clear them, before they become eligible for submitting their thesis.
Research in Computer Science in India
In the area of Computer Science, a scholar can select from a variety of evolutionary technological, mathematical, experimentation related problems to begin the research. Select a topic which leads to complex mathematical and theoretical development and growth in the respective field. PhD in Computer Science at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur involves hard work and a lot of time to systematically find and solve the problem. For example after completing the undergraduate engineering or B.Tech degree program students intending to join doctoral study programs are required to work on their courses for nearly a year, then spend a year or two to formulate the respective research question or problem which involves deep literature review and data collection.
Finally the research scholar takes another year or two to find or develop the solution to the research problem and then takes few months to write the thesis up to perfection. After writing the thesis, it is submitted to the Institute where it is examined by handpicked experts from different institutes and once it clears this hurdle, the thesis defense date is announced and the research scholar presents and then defends his years of hard work in front of other experts and research scholars. Only when the research scholar successfully defends his thesis and research, the Institute gives the go-ahead to grant him or her, the degree of Phd. This process is adopted in all major Indian Universities. The annual salary for a research scholar in Computer Science at IIT Kanpur is about Rs 1.8 – 2.4 lakhs (without any other expenses such as those related to tuition fee or examination fee etc). Three popular scholarship programs for computer science research scholars at IIT-K are – Infosys scholarships, DNV Fellowship and the Lucent Bell Labs fellowship scheme.
In order to be eligible for the PhD program at IIT –K a student needs M. Tech or ME in any branch of engineering. MCA is not considered equivalent to a M.E or M.Tech degree. However exceptionally talented and top scorers in B.E or B.Tech who have a good GATE score can also get direct admission to the PhD degree program. Even high scorers of GATE who have Master’s Degree in Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics and have good knowledge of Computer Science can also get direct admission to the PhD degree program at IIT Kanpur.
The doctoral programme in Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Delhi provides research scholars with a monthly stipend of Rs 15000. Apart from this, IIT Delhi also offers many industry based fellowships to top performers in Computer Science. IIT Delhi offers Full time and Part time PhD degree in Computer Science. Part time PhD degree in Computer Science can be done by only those scholars who work within a distance of 50 km from IIT Delhi campus. Eligibility requirements at IIT Delhi for PhD degree program in Computer Science requires the candidate to have a M.E or M.Tech degree but the following students are also eligible – undergraduate degree in Engineering and Technology or MCA or Master of Science in Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics but with a valid and good GATE score in Computer Science or Information Technology or Electronics and Communications Engineering.
The doctoral programme in Computer Science at IIT Madras requires the scholar to do a course work along with the research. Admissions to the PhD degree program in Computer Science at IIT Madras are based on a written examination and the subsequent interview process. The Written test at IIT Madras covers the following topics – Mathematics, Discrete Mathematical Structures, Programming in C, Data Structures and Algorithms, Automata and Formal Languages, Operating Systems and computer networks. Research scholars get somewhere between Rs 15000 to Rs 18000 per month. IIT Madras also offers the following to top performing research scholars – Microsoft India Ph.D. fellowship, Infosys fellowship, IBM Ph.D. fellowship etc.
Admissions to the doctoral programme in Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay are based on a written examination and the subsequent interview process. The written examination has the following parts – General Aptitude, Mathematical Aptitude, Programming Aptitude and Computer Science and Engineering covering areas such as Computer Graphics, Database Management Systems, Algorithm Design and Analysis, Compiler Construction, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Networks etc.
Apart from the IIT’s there are many top performing Institutes and Universities in India that provide opportunities to undergo doctoral studies in Computer Science and Engineering.