Why PhD?

“The young are in two minds whether to pursue higher studies. India is a growing nation. A hallmark of a modern, advanced nation is the level of intellectual capability of its population. If the PhD is the highest degree signifying a high level of intellectual capability, India needs many more PhDs than we currently have.” This was Professor Chiranjib Bhattacharyya, speaking at an online outreach event ‘Why PhD?’ organised by the Division of Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Sciences (EECS), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), on 27 October 2022. [A recording of the session is available here.]

The aim of this event was to connect and directly interact with final and pre-final year students and immediate graduates from departments/programmes related to electronic systems engineering, electrical communication engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science across the country. As Professor Mayank Srivastava points out, “Studies have indicated that students often are not aware of the many research opportunities in India. This leads to many leaving India in search of PhD opportunities elsewhere. Further, students are often unaware of the opportunities post-PhD. Besides, there are also several misconceptions about PhD.” In this context, the session addressed: (1) the myths surrounding PhD, (2) reasons why one should do a PhD, (3) who should pursue a PhD, (4) global opportunities after obtaining a PhD in India, and (5) PhD opportunities at the Division of EECS, IISc.

Professors Mayank Shrivastava, Sudhan Majhi, Vishnu Mahadeva Iyer, and Chaya Ganesh spoke about the research being carried out by their respective departments, namely the Departments of Electronic Systems Engineering (ESE), Electrical Communication Engineering (ECE), Electrical Engineering (EE), and Computer Science and Automation (CSA). Several current PhD students from these departments spoke about their motivations to do a PhD, the choices they made along the way, and their experiences. The session ended with an extensive question–answer session.

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