Ph.D.

Program Structure | Financial Assistance | Academic Advising | Admission Process

The Doctoral Program leading towards the award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) provides the students an opportunity for a career in academia or in Research & Development Establishments. A strong foundation and original contribution to knowledge in a chosen area of interest is expected from Ph.D. graduates of DA-IICT.

Broadly, faculty members at DA-IICT are engaged in research activities in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and related areas, selected areas of Basic and Computational Sciences, and selected areas in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Research interests of faculty at DA-IICT is available here.

PhD Programme and Disciplines

Depending on student’s educational background and fulfilling the eligibility criteria of the program,a student can pursue PhD study in

  • Engineering in ICT disciplines, Science and Mathematics
  • Humanities, Social Science and Design

Categories of Registration

Students are selected for admission in PhD program in three categories: Regular (Full-time) registration, Sponsored (Part-time) registration, and External (Part-time) registration.

Regular Category

Candidates who satisfy the minimum eligibility criteria for admission in the PhD program can apply as regular candidate. Candidate if selected for admission in the PhD program is expected to be residential, a minimum of 3 years from the time of first semester registration, during his/her course work and research work carried out at the Institute.

Sponsored (part-time) Category

This category includes sponsored candidates from the organizations with whom DA-IICT has established MoU. Candidates employed in recognized R&D organizations, Research Labs in industry, employed as regular faculty in colleges and universities and desirous of pursuing PhD studies may apply for admission in PhD program.

External (part-time) Category

This category includes external candidates from the organizations with whom DA-IICT does not have MoU. Candidates employed in recognized R&D organizations, Research Labs in industry, employed as regular faculty in colleges and universities and desirous of pursuing PhD studies may apply for admission in PhD program.

Program Structure

Program Structure of PhD -Engineering in ICT disciplines, Science and Mathematics

Students have 3 to 6 years to complete all academic requirements related to the PhD program. The program comprises of course and research work; the number of courses one has to undergo depends on the student’s educational background, category of admission and the research she/he will be engaged in. The research work to be undertaken for the PhD must include original contribution to the knowledge reserve culminating in a thesis.

The academic requirements for the PhD program are as follows:

Category Minimum
Total
Credits
Minimum
Course
Credits
Minimum
Research Credits
Typical Duration
(Years)
Regular (Full-time)
MTech/ME/MS/MPhil
72 12 48 3-5
Regular (Full-time) – MSc 80 20 48 4-6
Regular (Full-time) – MA 80 21 to 24 48 4-6
Regular (Full-time) – BTech/BE/MCA 80 24 48 4-6
Sponsored/External(Part-time) – MTech/ME/MS/MPhil 72 12 48 3-5
Sponsored/External(Part-time) – MSc 80 20 48 4-6
Sponsored/External(Part-time) – MA 80 21 to 24 48 4-6
Sponsored/External(Part-time) – BTech/BE/MCA 80 24 48 4-6

Table 1. Academic Requirements of the PhD program.

PhD Process

The typical milestones and processes involved during a PhD is shown below:

Course Credits

Engineering

A student depending on the category needs to take a certain number of minimum course credits, as mentioned in Table-1. The prospective supervisor/mentor of the student will advise the student to take necessary courses based on the broad domain of the area of interest.

Course Credits

Humanities, Social Sciences and Design

A student depending on the category needs to take a certain number of minimum course credits, as mentioned in Table-1. The prospective supervisor/mentor of the student will advise the student to take necessary courses based on the broad domain of the area of interest.

The PhD programme in the several areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences, namely English, Anthropology, History, Economics and Design, is bound by the following requirements:

All students in the first semester of their program enroll in the mandatory PhD Colloquium, conducted by a group of faculty members. The coursework has two components: core and electives. Nine of the 21 to 24 credits should count toward the core requirements. The core requirement will be decided by the discipline to which the student belongs. For candidates with an MPhil degree, the core requirement will be limited to 6 credits. The student needs to fulfil, preferably in the second semester, a mandatory methods course (discipline specific). The rest of the courses may be taken as electives. The core and elective course requirement (this could include the credit for archival work, field visits etc) could be addressed through a combination of three categories of courses: Directed Study Courses, Independent Study courses and Reading Courses. They are not to be treated as self-study courses in that the restriction of one course per semester only that applies to self-study courses should not be levied here. The course work may be decided and advised to the student based on the recommendations of the supervisor/mentor and with approval of the Dean-AP/PGC. A major portion of the courses chosen/designed (both core and non-core) is expected to be tailored with the student’s initially proposed topic of research

Research Credits

Research credits (Example: PC801 Research-1 (3 credit)) are advisable for the student once he/she successfully clears comprehensive examination. The number of research credits a student can register in a semester is same as course credits (i.e., min. 9 credits and max. 15 credits).

Requirement for Sponsored/External Categories

Apart from the general eligibility criteria prescribed by the Institute, sponsored/external candidates require to fulfill the following additional requirements:

  • Candidates must be sponsored by their employers for pursuing PhD studies in the Institute.
  • Candidates require to do course work followed by comprehensive examination as prescribed in Academic Requirement of the PhD program of the Institute.
  • Sponsorship letter should be submitted in the prescribed format at the time of the PhD admissions. The Sponsorship Certificate (and a NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE for the candidates sponsored by College/University) from the organization in which he/she is employed should provide an undertaking that the candidate will be released to fulfill the course work requirement and comprehensive examination.
  • The Sponsorship Certificate should mention that the candidate’s services shall be retained with the employer after fulfilling the course work and comprehensive requirement at the Institute and the candidate will be allowed to go back to his/her parent organization where he/she will be doing the research work.
  • Sponsored/external candidate should possess a minimum of three years job experience in an organization of repute.
  • Sponsored/external candidate will not receive any stipend/scholarship from the Institute and the candidate will not be assigned any teaching assistantship.

Sponsorship certificate template (PDF)

No Objection certificate template (PDF)

Financial Assistance

The following is a summary of financial assistance provided by the institute to the non-sponsored category students

  • DA-IICT fellowship: All those admitted as full-time Ph.D. students will be eligible for financial support in the form of Teaching Assistantship (TA)/Research Assistantships (RAs). The assistantship is Rs. 21,000/- per month till the end of the semester in which the candidate clears the comprehensive examination. For the subsequent period, for candidates with B Tech/M Sc degree the assistantship gets revised to Rs. 25,000/- per month, and for candidates with M Tech/M Phil degree the assistantship gets revised to Rs. 28,000/- per month.   The fellowship is for a maximum duration of four years after passing the comprehensive examination or clearing of Synopsis, whichever is earlier. The responsibilities associated with the teaching/research assistantship includes conducting laboratory courses and tutorials for undergraduate students, assisting in teaching, research projects, and academic administration.
  • TCS Research Fellowship: The Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has recognized DA-IICT as one of the Institutions to administer the TCS Research Scholar Program. This prestigious program provides attractive doctoral fellowships to full-time students pursuing Ph.D. programs in selected areas. The eligibility and other details are given below.The scheme is open for Ph.D. students in their first year of the program. Students who are within 28 years of age, having a first class throughout their education, and wish to pursue research in broad areas of Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Information Systems, Information Technology and Software Engineering.

    Period:
    For a maximum of four years or submission of thesis, whichever is earlier. The duration of four years will be counted after completion of comprehensive examination.
    Fellowship: Rs. 28,000/- per month for the first two years and Rs.32,000/- per month for the next two years. Other Incentives are:

    • A contingency of Rs.1,00,000/- is available in first year for use during the tenure of studies.
    • A student enrolled as TCS Research Scholar is eligible to receive support for paper presentation in one International refereed conference, held outside India, and two National/International refereed conferences, held within India, during her/his tenure.

    Selection: Institute will invite applications from students who are offered Ph.D. admission, and recommend suitable candidates to TCS. TCS reserves the right of final selection for the award of the fellowship.

  • CSIR-NET Fellowship: Candidates who have qualified through the NET examination and admitted to the program can avail their CSIR fellowships.
  • Other Fellowships: Candidates who have been selected for DST Inspire / PM Scholarship / Visweshvaraya Ph.D. scheme and other appropriate fellowships and admitted to the program can avail their fellowship.

Residential Requirement

Residency during a semester implies that student is available in the campus of the Institute for course work and research activities during all working days of the semester.

  • Students enrolled under Regular category should fulfil residency requirement during course work credits and research credits, both.
  • Students enrolled under Sponsored and External category should fulfil residency requirement during course work credits.

Under certain special circumstances the residential requirement for the sponsored and external candidates may be relaxed or waived, who may be permitted to complete their course work requirements through recognized web based on-line courses or to earn course credits from an organization of repute on the basis of the recommendations of the faculty supervisor/mentor and approval of the Dean(Academic Programs).

Academic Advising

A student entering the PhD program will be advised in the selection of courses/facultymentor/supervisor by the Dean (Academic Programs). The student is then expected to obtain consent from a member of faculty at DA-IICT to supervise his/her PhD thesis. This must be done before the end of semester in which the student clears the PhD comprehensive examination.

Comprehensive Examination

Engineering

  • Students registered in the PhD program must pass a comprehensive examination designed to test the overall comprehension of the student in the relevant subjects.
  • The comprehensive examination consists of two parts: (i) Written or qualifiers and (ii)Proposal defense. The qualifier examination will test candidate’s competency in the broad discipline, in which the candidate plan to pursue his/her PhD study. The syllabus of comprehensive examination should be based on the foundation subjects of candidate’s area of interest. The proposal defense consists of a research proposal which must be presented to Comprehensive committee no later than two months of a candidate clearing the qualifier exam.
  • Comprehensive Committee will be formed by the Dean (Academic Programs), which can evaluate the candidate’s qualifier and proposal defense.
  • Students admitted with MTech/ME/MS/MPhil degree may appear for the qualifier examination earliest after completing first semester but must pass it before starting the third semester after their first registration. Students admitted with MSc/MA/BTech/BE/MCA degree may appear for the qualifier examination earliest after completing second semester but must pass it before starting the fourth semester after their first registration. The above time limits are exclusive of the period of sanctioned withdrawal, if any.
  • The maximum number of attempts for the comprehensive exam is two. A student can appear for only one PhD Comprehensive examination in a given semester.
  • Students should have a minimum CPI of 7.0/10 in order to be eligible for appearing in the comprehensive examination.
  • A student will have to discontinue the PhD program, if he/she fails to pass the comprehensive examination even in the second attempt.
  • A Student enrolled in the PhD program is formally admitted to the candidacy for the PhD degree after he/she has passed the comprehensive examination.

Humanities, Social Sciences and Design

  • Students registered in the PhD program must pass a comprehensive examination designed to test the overall comprehension of the student in the relevant subjects.
  • Comprehensive Committee will be formed by the Dean (Academic Programs), which can evaluate the candidate’s qualifier and proposal defense.
  • The PhD comprehensive examination for the disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences has two components: 1) an exam; 2) a viva-voce with the committee. The examination may be based on either of the two options: 1) a choice of two courses cleared by the student which may have a bearing on his/her research; 2) a choice of two to three preferred areas of study with an accompanying reading list (prepared in consultation with a faculty member). The examination may be administered either through a question paper, or the student may be asked to submit a revised coursework essay of journal-article length (about 10,000 words including notes and bibliography) tailored for a specific scholarly journal. The format of the examination will be decided by the comprehensive examination committee after due consultation with the student. It is desired that the student clears the comprehensive examination as soon as the course work requirement is finished.
  • The comprehensive examination will be followed by 1) Research Pro-Seminar and 2) Dissertation Proposal Seminar. These seminars may be either evaluated by a committee or by the supervisor/mentor alone. The Dean (Academic Programs), as per his/her discretion, will determine the modus operandi of both these seminars. The pro-seminar requirement is aimed at refining the candidate’s methodological focus, and it will be fulfilled by submitting a short paper with an accompanying public presentation. Typically, in a pro-seminar the goal is to frame a research question within the scope of a topic either suggested by the supervisor or independently chosen by the candidate. The topic may be connected with the broader research focus of the candidate, but the scope of its work should be narrow and restricted. The emphasis would be on public presentation. The candidate is expected to provide in his/her paper an answer to the question with an accompanying defence; arguments for the respective thesis/theses to be defended; and therefore evidence for his/her preparedness for research. As part of the Dissertation Proposal Seminar, the candidate will present his/her proposed study and its scope, the hypotheses he/she aims to defend and substantiate, and a plan for the future course of action such as fieldwork, library work etc. In addition, the candidate will have undertaken extensive literature survey, honed his/her methodological grounding, and prepared the necessary ground for field work.
  • Students admitted with MPhil degree may appear for the comprehensive examination earliest after completing first semester but must pass it before starting the third semester after their first registration. Students admitted with MA/MSc or equivalent degree may appear for the comprehensive examination earliest after completing second semester but must pass it before starting the fourth semester after their first registration. The above time limits are exclusive of the period of sanctioned withdrawal, if any.
  • The maximum number of attempts for the comprehensive exam is two. A student can appear for only one PhD Comprehensive examination in a given semester.
  • Students should have a minimum CPI of 7.0/10 in order to be eligible for appearing in the comprehensive examination.
  • A student will have to discontinue the PhD program, if he/she fails to pass the comprehensive examination even in the second attempt.
  • A Student enrolled in the PhD program is formally admitted to the candidacy for the PhD degree after he/she has passed the comprehensive examination.

Research Progress Seminar

Research Progress Seminar (RPS) is held twice a year, typically, once in November (for Autumn Semester), and once in April (for Winter Semester) for the students who have cleared their comprehensive examination.

  • RPC of the student will assess the student’s research progress.
  • RPC may invite an external expert during the student’s RPS. The supervisor of the student requires a formal approval of the Dean-AP for involving an external expert in his/her student’s RPS.
  • Grades of the student will be decided by the supervisor in consultations with the RPC members.

Admission Process

Details on the application process, admission criteria, fee structure and financial assistance can be found here.