The ongoing pandemic has increased the levels of uncertainty among 460 out of 530 JNU scholars. This survey was conducted by the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). It shows that people are anxious more than ever about their future, career, research work, and many other things.
The survey is aimed to understand and decipher the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the research scholars. It is conducted by three research scholars from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, namely Somashree Das, Yangchen Roy, and Alamu R.
The result shows high levels of anxiety among the research scholars regarding their future. The facts state that 87.5 percent i.e. 470 students out of 530 confirmed to be anxious since the onset of a pandemic. Moreover, the rest 10 percent reported that they “maybe” feeling anxious.
According to the survey, the major anxiety drivers were the problems with stalled fieldwork, completing research work, their future prospects, and a few others. These concerns were the cause of trouble for the 80 percent scholars.
Further, the study shows that 64 percent were anxious due to a lack of clarity on the extension of research work. The research scholars are worried about their finances. Around 58 percent of JNU scholars considered a lack of money as the source of their anxiety or their depleting savings as the major concern.
According to the survey, some were worried that if an extension is announced, there is no clear information available regarding the fellowship/finances for that extension period. The other 48 percent considered “the financial/health situation at home” as a matter of utmost concern and worry.
More than men, women are worried to stand on family expectations and their demands. It includes responsibilities related to family care and household work. The 30.6 percent of JNU scholars are struggling with marriage related pressure from their family members and society.
The percentage of women in the survey is over 58 percent. Around 33.4 percent out of total women participants are facing marriage pressure from their families. The pandemic has also led to an increase in family demands regarding household chores and taking care of the members. the 40.9 percent women reported having faced this issue in the pandemic.
Talking about the men, about 24.5 percent reported being pressured by the family more marriage. Moreover, 33.6 percent of male JNU scholars told that their family expectations on doing household work and care responsibilities have surged.
As per the survey, a huge number of research scholars are likely to drop out. The reason being lack of sources to access the research material or the resources and financial issues tops the list.
The JNU scholars who took part in the survey included 80 percent of Ph.D. scholars. The other 18.5 percent and 1.5 percent is constituted by the MPhil and MTech students respectively.
The survey depicts that there is no regular supply of electricity at 50 percent of the scholar’s residence. It includes 38 percent dealing with recurring power cuts and almost 10 percent have no electricity for around four to six hours.
The 4,251 students out of 8,805 enrolled in the university i.e. 48.3 percent are studying in MPhil or Ph.D. courses.