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Ph.D in India Vs. Ph.D in Nigeria - A Contemplation


Kosi Emmanuel Chukwujindu - During Ph.D in India - 2021

A PhD in any field of study is a rigorous self-undertaking that usually involves a lot of sacrifice on the part of the scholar.  The entire process leading up to the award of a Doctorate degree in any discipline is structured to ensure that the researcher makes a real contribution to knowledge in that field.

Often times, what we consider as the task at the beginning of our expression of interest to undertake a PhD research changes many times during the process and it helps to have proper guidance and a tailored program of work.

Speaking of proper guidance, it is expected that a Ph.D. research scholar must be guided by a supervisor who him / her self have earned their own doctorate in a related field. As a Nigerian who had enrolled for a Ph.D. study in Nigeria for six(6) years before deciding to leave the country to pursue the same degree abroad, my experience has been tough but I have learnt a lot for which I am immensely grateful.

In this post, I share the highlights of my experience as I can't help comparing conditions of study in both countries.


In Nigeria, I had a hard time accessing my supervisor, he was of the Professor cadre and this meant he was only in school on scheduled days. If you didn't catch him on any of those, then you had to wait till the next time. It's different here in India. The Professors are always on seat and willing to discuss your work anytime. This was a real consolation to me because now I knew I only had to focus on the progress of my research and not bother about chasing the guide, since he's always on sit.


In my university in Nigeria, because the lecturers are not very accessible, it's harder to grab guidance on what best research tools are there and how best to combine them. There seems to be a certain "darkness" surrounding this and sometimes one would almost conclude it appears they are not very hands-on with the tools, themselves. This makes it tougher for research scholars in Nigeria to compete with their global counterparts. In India however, I found most research guides had practical current knowledge of research tools and software applications. We were literally thought the use of simulation softwares during the coursework part of our first year. 

This was a huge departure from my African background where if you learnt to use any software at all, you either enrolled for a private lesson at a private tutor place or you got a friend to show you privately, practical exposure to research/simulation software never came from my supervisors.


The biggest challenge I faced while enrolled as a Ph.D. research scholar in Nigeria was my own inability to focus on the research due to multiple distractions from other engagements such as my very demanding private practice, family, and lecturing. It was easy to drift off from the research when you had a thriving Architecture practice and a demanding lecturing job. I figured if I would make any headway with my PhD work, then I had to get away from all the distractions and the only way to do so was to leave the country to the greatest surprise of everyone, to go somewhere I can focus and finish off the research and probably get better supervision. I had to leave and I had to do so quickly!

I realized PhD research was in itself a full time engagement.


In Nigeria, it was common to have the students levied by lecturers and the school for buying research related equipment for the department. One time we had to pay NGN5,000 each in order to procure a new set of public address system and projector for the department seminar room. The condition was that whoever did not contribute this sum, would not be permitted to present his work in the seminar room and ofcourse you could forget about getting any objective feedback on your work.

In India, I havent paid a rupee for anything departmental asides my tuition and exam fees. Everything is taken care of by the department and maintained by the school authority. This was also a relief.


As they say, PhD degree is the highest academic degree obtainable and it is a globally recognized academic venture. Coming to India helped me refine my research to take a global perspective on the research questions I was trying to find answers to. 


For some reason Nigerian scholars abroad seemed to be producing richer quality of research output in many disciplines compared to our colleagues in Nigeria. This is a personal observation and I am still unsure why it is so. I think there is no pressure to compete international scheme of things at home in Nigeria, this has a negative effect on researchers ambitions. We settle for whatever can get us past the degree, even if its not relevant anywhere else. 

Also, I saw a metric somewhere that rated research publications from Nigeria, Kenya South Africa and the United States. In terms of economic impact of research, Nigeria scored zero. This points to the fact that in Nigeria, it's either the government does not rely on research output for making economic decision or the research output do not have any immediate or midterm economic relevance. This should be looked into.


Doing research while surrounded by a diverse community of co-researchers and scholars naturally lifts your threshold for excellence.

Subscribe to this blog for more of such discussions and leave a comment below if you find any more differences or think differently about something I've highlighted here. Would be glad to discuss


Everything we desire in life comes to us at the right time if we truly need it and continue to apply the right effort with the right attitude (state of mind) towards it and if it is in the overall good of the universe. No matter how difficult or how far away it seems, at the right time it will come to us. 

As humans we have an insatiable desire for materials; cars, houses, clothes, food, sex, money etc - the list is endless. Sometimes we really need these things, most times we only want them because our friend does or because it makes us look better than others. Even when we have what we need already, we continue to want more, we imagine that we may run out of stock and so we are always trapped in an endless cycle of get this - get that, get this - get that, then get that, and then get this..

Sometimes when we have everything we desire, it hampers our spiritual growth. Some level of pain is important for us to understand joy. Other times when we don't have enough of what we need, it can also delay us from realizing our goals. Some level of stability is required for us to stay productive.

Balance is the key.

Understanding that nothing is a do-or-die affair and at the same time being able to set goals, work toward them and achieve them is what we need to get through life.

Food for thought: Why were the Isrealites instructed not to keep any of the manna from heaven overnight? They were to eat only their "daily bread" and not attempt to stock up any for the next day?

Share your thoughts using the comment box below.


Duplicate or overlapping publications is a situation where an author publishes the same body of work in its entirety or at least 2/3rd of the original work in multiple journals in order to increase his or her publication count.

Authors and researchers are usually caught in such situations due to pressure to publish or pressure to obtain certain privileges from their academic institution or grant agency. 

There are several drawbacks associated with this kind of unethical research conduct and they include: 

i).  Redundancy : 

this means that there are multiple publications with the same content and value, hence there is no real progress made, They are all saying the same thing. They do not help the future readers or researchers to make positive progress in subsequent works, they only keep repeating the same old knowledge into many places.

ii). Waste of Time : 

Such a practice amounts to a waste of the author's time as well as the reader's time. This is because research is dynamic and every day new knowledge is expected to emerge in every discipline. However, an author who takes to redundant, duplicate, or overlapping publications is actually wasting valuable research time which would otherwise have been channeled to discover new knowledge in the given research area.

iii). Confusion: 

Where multiple publications are made of the same literary content, it tends to cause confusion to the editors, reviewers, and researchers who struggle to identify if there is any new knowledge in the multiple publications. This ultimately leads to confusion because in the end they may be forced to retract some of the publications which may have already been cited by other researchers who did not realize that the works were duplicated or overlapping.

iv). Poor Literary Development of The Scholar :

When a research scholar resorts to duplicate or redundant publishing, he or she fails to develop his / her literary prowess and this ultimately leads to poor quality of researchers who may not be well fitted for technical positions in life and career paths where they belong.

v). Public Loss of Trust in the Parent Organisation : 

Any organization whose members are identified to consistently indulge in duplicate or overlapping publications will eventually lose the trust of the public or funding agency. It is therefore the responsibility of such organizations to ensure that they set up a research and publication ethics committee to vet and approve research works coming from members of their organization in order to ensure quality and guarantee adherence to ethical standards. Also, it is important for such organizations to retract any identified duplication or overlapping publications without recourse to who it is.


Source : clipartstation.com

A plagiarism software is a computer application that is designed to identify and quantify the extent of "external material" or "similarity to external material" that is contained in any given literary work. 

Plagiarism is a serious and unpardonable misconduct when it comes to academic publishing. It is a situation where an author presents part or whole of another authors work within his own work as if it originally belonged to him and goes ahead to publish same into public domain without making citation or reference to the origin or source of the material.

Because research is a continuum, it is expected that future researchers fall back on already existing body of knowledge for guidance and direction while conducting their own original research which will in turn lead to their own original new found knowledge. However ethical guidelines for research, mandates the researcher to make proper declarations wherever he has borrowed material from another author. This would ultimately contribute to and enrich the existing body of knowledge in the given research field.

However since it has been observed that researchers frequently fail to declare the borrowed contents in their works, the plagiarism software tool is applied while reviewing articles in order identify any such similarities between the current proposed publication and existing database of knowledge.


i). Submission : 

First the author submits his proposed literary work to a given journal or group of editors who call for papers or are desirous of compiling new knowledge in the given field of interest. The submission is required to be made in a soft copy (editable).

ii). Plagiarism check : 

The group of editors or reviewers usually have an in-house software application installed on their computer or available online where they pass the softcopy proposal through in order to check it for any possible similarities between existing database in the given field. The software is usually designed to read through the entire proposal and check it against the existing published works that have been catalogued in its memory. 

iii). Plagiarism quantification : 

The software usually presents the result of its check in terms of number of phrases, sentences and paragraphs that bear significant similarity to existing publications known to the software. This number of similarity occurrence is calculated a s percentage and usually only 10-15% of similarity is allowed. Literary works bearing similarity beyond 15% may require further human investigation to determine and establish possible plagiarism.

iv). Acceptance or Rejection : 

Based on the results from the plagiarism quantification by the software, the group of editors will either accept or reject the submitted proposal and will advice the author to make adjustments accordingly and resubmit for further evaluations.

Plagiarism detection software works as a safeguard for original content and serious writers, to protect their creative properties from literary thieves.



Life is simple, but we are overwhelmed by it on a daily basis. We seem to be on an endless clock that keeps moving whether we do anything or not. Life happens to us anyways, if we don't happen to it quickly enough. 

We don't know when we'll be done here, none of us knows his exit date, time or location, It can happen any moment, from the time you wake up in the morning to the time you lay down again in the night. There is no guarantee that everyone who woke up today will go to sleep again this night. Yet we make plans for 10, 15, 20 years time as if any part of it was guaranteed. We brag and carry our shoulders up as if we are anything. We look down on others and judge everyone else but ourselves. We refuse to help others on their own life journeys as if we were already done with ours.😃😃

Each of us have our unique challenges, its a full time job to figure them out and solve them on a daily basis. The lessons we learn while at it enriches us, the mistakes we fall into purnish us harshly and the clock continues tick - tack.. tick - tack 

For anyone who even bothers to think, it is crucial to figure out what you are doing here on Earth and what you want to leave for the next generation when you are gone. Of course, we already know that we don't take anything material from here when we pass on. We just go as light as we come, no baggages at least not physical. We have also come to understand that material belongings are perishable and only have relevance or value on this material plane. If this is the truthful case, then whatever we acquire here and now, cannot be ours forever. 

So what do we do? 

Our existential realities and conditions differ largely along lines of culture, religion, location and temperament. We are consistently under intense mental, physical, sociological, economic, cultural and religious pressure. Some people are lucky to figure out their way through these pressures and contain them, others are torn apart trying to even understand what is going on. 

We build institutions to help us calm the pressures, we join alliances (cultural and religious) to assure us that we are not alone while at it and ultimately we struggle to pay bills to continue living.  Money has become the biggest agent of control, It appears the more of it you have, the more able you are to contain your own pressures. Everyone strives to acquire more of it, in order to stand a chance to master our existence and liberate ourselves from suffering even if the acquisition causes pain to us and others.

What's more, even time has been equated to money. You spend time to get money and you spend money to buy time. It appears we are all rich in time, but not so equal on money.

Whatever is going on, we are in an intelligent system. The universe is a training school. There are lessons everywhere we look. Most of them come in disguise. We are not only living, but we are also learning. The natural laws of existence ensure that there is always a balance in the system. 

We don't know how for sure, but we can live each day as if it was our last. We can try to do one thing, do it well and expect no mercy!


 A trip to Mahabalipuram tourist city, in Tamil Nadu, sponsored by the Victory fellowship International (VFI) Chennai team comprised of Mark Anthony, Love, Martha, Juliana, Suchishmita, Vivek and Sam.



A Site visit by client Chief Chukwudi Nnaji at his country home project at Amaechi Uwani, Enugu South Local Government area, Enugu.