Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Doctoral Program leading towards the award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 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 PhD 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.

Program Structure

Students have 3 to 6 years to complete all academic requirements related to the PhD program (maximum period allowed for different categories is given in Table 1). 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 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 Minimum Residency* (Semesters) Typical Duration (Years)
PhD - after BTech/MSc 96 33 48 8 4-6
PhD - after MTech/MPhil 72 12 48 6 3-5
PhD Sponsored - after MTech/MPhil 72 12 48 1 3-5
PhD Sponsored - after BTech/MSc 96 33 48 2 4-6

* The minimum residency requirement may be lowered under exceptional circumstances.
Table 1. Academic Requirements of the PhD program.


Financial Assistance

All those admitted as full-time PhD students will be eligible for financial support in the form of Teaching Assistantship (TA). The assistantship is INR 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 BTech/MSc degree the assistantship gets revised to INR 25,000/- per month, and for candidates with MTech/MPhil degree the assistantship gets revised to INR 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 assistantship include conducting laboratory courses and tutorials for undergraduate students, assisting course instructor in teaching, and helping academic administration.

Students are also encouraged to apply for the TCS Research Fellowship that provides a stipend of INR 28000 – INR 32000 for a maximum period of 4 years, and provides Conference Travel Support (1 International, 2 National) and a Contingency grant of INR 1,00,000.

Students may also apply for the position of Research Assistant under relevant sponsored projects at DA-IICT. Students may also avail government fellowships under the DST-INSPIRE and other programs.


Residential Requirement

The minimum residency requirement for the PhD program is listed in Table 1. During the period of residency, the student should be available at DA-IICT campus for academic and research activities during all working hours of the institute. Moreover, the student should have registered for a total of at least 12 credits during the regular semester.


PhD Process

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


Academic Advising

A student entering the PhD program will be advised in the selection of courses by Dean (Academic Programs). The student is then expected to obtain consent from a 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

Students registered for the PhD Program must pass a comprehensive examination designed to test the overall comprehension of the student in the relevant subjects.

Students admitted with BTech, MSc, MA or MPhil Degrees may appear in the comprehensive examination earliest in the third semester, but must pass it before the end of the fourth semester after their first registration.

Students admitted with MTech or equivalent Degrees may appear in the comprehensive examination earliest in the second semester, but must pass the examination before the end of the third semester after their first registration.

Students should obtain a minimum CPI 7.0 on a 10-point scale to appear for the comprehensive examination. Students will get two chances to pass the comprehensive examination. Those who fail to clear the comprehensive examination in the second attempt will have to discontinue from the Program.


Semester Load

A regular registration is equivalent to 12 credits. Typically, each regular course at DA-IICT is worth 3 - 4.5 credits. The Post-Graduate Committee may permit a student for semester registration maximum of 15 credits or a minimum of 9 credits. After completing the course work, a student registers for research courses. Unlike regular courses with lectures/lab/tutorials, research courses are an administrative tool for tracking the research work conducted by the student every semester, and each research course is worth 3 credits. The minimum course and research credit requirements for the PhD degree is given in Table 1. Please note that minimum course and research credits do not satisfy the minimum total credit requirements. The student has to fulfil the minimum total credit requirements by either clearing additional course credits or research credits.


Course and Research Evaluation

For all regular courses students are awarded grades on a 10-point scale: AA(10/10), AB(9/10),...,DE(3/10), F(0/10). A credit-weighted average of the grade points over a semester gives the Semester Performance Index (SPI), while the same averaged over all semesters gives the Cumulative Performance Index (CPI) of the student. The evaluation criteria will be announced typically in the first lecture of a course.

Research courses can be graded either Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (X). The grading will be done based on a report and Research Progress Seminar (RPS) delivered by the student every semester to an RPS committee. The RPS committee will be formed once the student clears the Phd Comprehensive examination. If the committee is satisfied with the report and presentation, the committee may award an S grade in all research credits registered by the student in that semester, while, depending on the level to which the committee is satisfied with the research conducted, the student may receive a certain combination of S and X grades. The grades earned in Research courses have no bearing on the SPI or CPI. Note that a student having more than 5 Unsatisfactory (X) grades during the entire PhD program will be recommended for termination from the PhD program to the Director of the institute. Also note that a student completing the minimum research, course and total credit requirement does not automatically qualify to appear for the PhD Synopsis examination. When the RPS committee is satisfied with the quality of the research conducted, the student can appear for the PhD Synopsis examination.


PhD Synopsis Examination

The Dean (Academic Programs) will set up a PhD Synopsis committee in consultation with the Post Graduate Committee. The student is expected to submit a PhD Synopsis report summarizing the original contribution made, followed by the PhD Synopsis presentation to the committee. The committee may accept, suggest minor or major changes, or reject the synopsis. If the Synopsis is accepted, the student is given 6 months to write and submit his/her PhD thesis for examination. In case of changes suggested by the committee, the student should address the comments, suggestions and objections raised by the committee, and possibly re-appear for the Synopsis.


Thesis Examination & Defense

The PhD thesis will be sent to two examiners for evaluation, one within India, the other outside India. If the thesis is accepted or only minor changes are suggested, the student is allowed to defend his/her PhD thesis in a Public defense evaluated by a Committee consisting of the examiner within India and other faculty from DA-IICT.


Admission Process

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