Monday, April 2, 2018

Teachers could lose their jobs for plagiarism

Teachers could lose their jobs for plagiarism


NEWDELHI: Student researchers who plagiarise may lose their registration and teachers who do could lose their jobs with the University Grants Commission (UGC) approving a draft regulation on plagiarism which will be notified after approval by the HRD ministry.
Plagiarism in higher academia is a huge problem in India and UGC, the apex body of higher education institutions, has been threatening to come out with a plagiarism law for several years now .
It finally approved the UGC (Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Education Institutions) regulations 2018 in its meeting held on March 20. HT has seen the minutes of the meeting. The law prescribes graded punishment for plagiarism.
The draft rules for students states that in non-core areas, plagiarism of up to 10% would not invite any penalty while between 10% and 40% would mean students will have to submit a revised research paper within six months.
In case the similarities are between 40% and 60%, students will be debarred from submitting a revised paper for one year. A student’s registration for a programme will be cancelled if the similarities are above 60%. Teachers whose academic and research papers have similarities ranging from 10% to 40% with other papers will be asked to withdraw the manuscript.
In case the similarities are between 40% and 60%, they will not be allowed to supervise new Masters/ MPhil/PhD students for two years and will also be denied the right to one annual increment. In case of repeat plagiarism of over 60% similarity, the faculty members will be suspended, even dismissed.
“I am all for checking plagiarism. We have very lax standards and that is what seems to have prompted government to propose such a law,” said Dinesh Singh, ex-vice-chancellor, DU.

“It would have been better if universities had strong internal mechanisms as in so many other countries,” he said.
India has been witness to several plagiarism charges against central university vice-chancellors and teachers in the past few years. Pondicherry University V-C Chandra Krishnamurthy quit in 2016 after a prolonged stand-off with the HRD ministry, following allegations that she plagiarized large parts of a book mentioned in her resume. The most celebrated case is that of BS Rajput, the VC of Kuamon University, who was a serial plagiarist; eventually, seven Stanford University professors wrote to then President APJ Abdul Kalam about him.
According to UGC, all higher educational institutions will have to develop a policy on plagiarism and get it approved by relevant statutory bodies/authorities and display it on their websites.
In September last year, UGC formed a committee and sought public feedback on a proposed plagiarism policy in September.
“Meantime, a communication was received from the MHRD on implementation of the reforms proposed in a meeting taken by the Principal secretary to the Prime Minister on 16 September 2017 regarding reform in higher education. One of the action points mentioned in the meeting was related to the regulation on plagiarism wherein it was desired that UGC should also consult with IITs and IIMs for uniformity in regulation on anti-plagiarism,” reads the minutes of the meeting.
Many of the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institutes of Management have stringent anti-plagiarism policies. Some even use software to identify instances of plagiarism in student submissions.
According to UGC, all departments in higher educational institutions will notify a departmental academic integrity panel (DAIP) which will investigate the matters and will submit its recommendations to the Institutional Academic Integrity Panel (IAIP) of the higher educational institution.

Source: Hindustan Times dated 3 April, 2018

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