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Carving out Ph.D's
Motivating Research

Gift Siromoney,
Department of Statistics, Madras Christian College,
Tambaram, Madras 600 059.
October 31, 1979.

Dr. M. Abel,
Madras Christian College,

Dear Dr.Abel,

I wish to congratulate you on this happy occasion when the second Ph.D thesis is being submitted to the University of Madras just four months after the first was submitted. Future historians will note the year 1979 as an important period during which you have offered leadership to two Ph.D. candidates both of whom were working part-time and succeeded in producing the theses, which, in my opinion, would succeed even if all the examiners were to be chosen from abroad.

I wish to place on record that no other principal in the past has succeeded in guiding two Ph.D. candidates.

Both the studies have broken new ground. Mantramurti's study is unique in that it deals with the structure and effectiveness of the traditional Panchayat System in the Nilgiri tribes. He has made use of a specialized technique called numerical taxonomy, which will be new to candidates of Ph.D. both in India and abroad.

In the study on political science, you wisely guided us to work on the participation of the common citizens following the pattern of the well known American doctoral thesis of Goel. You wisely did not advise us to tackle the alternative question of the participation of the leaders. Julius's thesis when completed, turned out to be a very good example of how quantitative methods should be used in a thesis. In contrast to other Madras University theses a modern computer was pressed into service for data-processing which yielded about 300 tables of which only a fourth could be used due to want of space. A unique feature of this study is that it uses the chi-square (pronounced kai-square) test to verify the results.

I am happy that I was able to associate myself with your first two candidates and I wish to thank you for the privilege of working with you and your outstanding students.

Yours sincerely,
Gift Siromoney.

Dr.Gift Siromoney,
Head of the department of Statistics.

Dear Dr. Siromoney,
Thank you very much for your letter of 31st October, 1979, regarding the dissertations of Alex and Julius. In this connection I would like to acknowledge my deep gratitude to you for the valuable help you have given to the candidates. I am quite sure that but for your concerned interest and relentless persuasion, they would not have been able to complete their work. I personally feel much obliged to you for taking from me a large portion of the burden, which I should have borne. Therefore, on behalf of the candidates and on my own I would like to very sincerely thank you for placing at our disposal your valuable resources and time.

With kind regards,
Yours sincerely,


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