Trans-disciplinary research to qualitatively enhance the research ecosystem


Universities across the country are emphasising on trans-disciplinary research to enhance the research ecosystem. Colleges are involving the faculties from different departments to jointly work and create a relatable concept. Banaras Hindu University (BHU) introduced a scheme named, ‘Promotion of Trans-Disciplinary Research’ to foster diverse research involving multiple disciplines that would bring the faculty work on new areas of study and research.

Speaking to
Education Times, Ramesh Chand, coordinator of trans-disciplinary research at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), says, “The trans-disciplinary research will involve faculty members from three or more streams. The researchers will jointly work to create a relatable concept that would find usage in all the concerned disciplines.”

For instance, the faculty of the Agriculture department will develop a concept involving the Science and Social Science faculties. “By widening the scope of trans-disciplinary research at our university, we also intend to involve faculties from departments like Arts, Music, Culture, comparative religion in trans-disciplinary research as we are not able to extract the full potential from them,” adds Chand.

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This will make the research ecosystem qualitative and will add meaning to the thesis developed by the researchers. This will acquire Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and get published in recognised journals worldwide. “Every year, more than 1000 research theses are submitted at BHU, out of which more than 50% do not meet the international set standards and do not get published in reviewed journals,” explains Chand, highlighting that BHU has allocated Rs 800 crore for this under the Institutes of Eminence (IoE) grant.

BJ Rao, vice-chancellor, University of Hyderabad (UoH), says, “We have a dedicated centre for trans-disciplinary research called Advanced Centre in Research for High Energy Materials (ACRHEM) which is in partnership with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). About 10 faculty members from Physics and Chemistry departments are involved in it.”

Anil Joseph Pinto, registrar, Christ University, Bangalore, says, “Many of our faculty members from streams such as Psychology, Management, Economics and Chemistry are involved in trans-disciplinary research for a long time. Usually at the PhD level subjects do become trans-disciplinary in nature because students need to use multiple disciplines to research their subjects. To be successful in conducting trans-disciplinary research, the students necessarily need to have a mastery over one core subject and collateral knowledge of the relative subjects too.”