I cleaned classrooms too at Harvard –but not to please my profs but to earn money to stay alive. I was the only graduate student member (perhaps) of Harvard Dorm Crew http://dormcrew.com/termtime/index.html
Good that some Indian profs have become professional enough to keep time-sheets of the sweeping work done by their students -towards their PhD grades.
Want PhD? Look for a 'jhadu'
Well, that may have been reel life. But in real life too, Jigar Patel, a research scholar at Gujarat University's chemistry department, went through all of this. And his guide VK Jain insisted that Patel maintain a daily activity log sheet mentioning this non-academic work and even signed it.
A year into his research, a frustrated Patel has filed an application under the Right to Information Act, seeking answers from the university on whether mopping lab floors, repairing electrical equipment, booking tickets for his guide formed part of his research topic — 'Calix Pyroles and Its Applications'.
Patel claims in his application that he was asked by Jain to do odd jobs like repairing his scooter’s flat tyre and depositing cheques. Patel has submitted a copy of the log book. An entry in Patel's log sheet on October 16, 2005, which carries Jain's signature, states, “Went to BSNL office, creation for printer work, post-office, watch shop for repairing, complex preparation of dyes and computer work.”
Another entry dated September 19, 2005 reads, “Printer repair, mouse change and searched for 'Jhaadu' (broom).” Similar entries appear practically every day till September this year on Patel's log sheet.
“After going through my daily log sheet, no one would believe that I did complex research. I filed the RTI application to bring to the university’s notice the harassment we face from some guides. It is time students came out in the open,” said Patel.
“Students resist protests against errant teachers fearing that it may ruin their academic career as the guide may refuse to give a recommendation. But these issues need to be brought out in public and authorities held responsible,” says sociologist Gaurang Jani.