I need to discuss an issue that is of grave concern for our local PhD students. This relates to the international GRE subject examination in which every local PhD student needs to appear. It is mandatory to obtain a minimum of 40 percentile to get the degree. Without getting a required percentage, the PhD students have kept re-appearing in this exam till they get the required score in it. Educationists like Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy use GRE Subject Score as the sole criterion for evaluating the standard of any local PhD. They simply ignore other measures to evaluate a research student like his performance in the PhD coursework, research publications and their citations, participation and presentation of papers in the seminars and conferences etc. The purpose of awarding a PhD degree is meant to prepare a researcher for all of these things, which is achieved by the successful fulfillment of these later steps only. Further, there are no well defined rules of the HEC regarding the GRE Subject Scores: students appearing before Sep 2009 have to get a minimum 40 percent, while those taking it in the 2010 have to score minimum 45 percent. After that it would be 50 percent. This kind of policy makes no sense as it gives a marginal advantage to those students, which would appear before Sep 2009 and is a disadvantage to the later ones. Another problem with it is that some universities like QAU and GCU are not awarding degrees on the basis of GRE Subject Scores as per HEC rules. Moreover, the international GRE exam is taken in twelve subjects only. Students who are doing PhD outside these subjects have to take tests prepared and organized by the local NTS. -MUBASHER JAMIL, Rawalpindi, via e-mail, November 23.