There is this brief report in today's The Hindu buried under TamilNadu/Coimbatore section that caught my eye. This report says that Bharathiar University is going to make the status of the evaluation of the Ph.D thesis available online.
As somebody who has seen from close quarters how people keep waiting for report, I am glad that somebody felt the need to atleast find a way to monitor and know the status. I also abhor the practice of sending the thesis to a 'Foreign' referee and getting an approval from him/her. I don't see why we need to do that, unless ofcourse, that person has been a collaborator.
In India you will have to submit the thesis(the final bound version), wait for the thesis report and then have your defence. When I defended my thesis recently, here in US, I gave a final (there is never a final one, is there?) draft in a manila folder to each of my committee two weeks before the defence and a submitted a copy to the graduate school a week after the defence. End of story. All my committee members weren't my collaborators, but they were on the committee to evaluate my thesis proposal.
I think the time frame between submission and defence, in Indian institutes, should be reduced to as minimum as possible and a person should be able to leave the Institute/University for good.
Except for a few concerned ones, most advisors don't even care how long it takes.
Anyway, that is my opinion.