In yet another case of alleged plagiarism in Panjab University, a faculty member has been accused of lifting research data from a student's dissertation.
In a recent complaint, Jayanti Dutta, deputy director, academic staff college, had accused Bala Krishan, faculty member in the centre for public health, PU, of lifting data from the dissertation of her student, Shruti Gupta.
The dissertation titled 'Facility survey of health centres in tricity according to Indian Public Health Standards' was the research work of Shruti Gupta, a student of department of public health in 2009-11 session. The research was supervised by the complainant and co-supervised by NK Goyal of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.
Bala Krishan allegedly used the research data from the dissertation for sending a research paper as corresponding author to the Indian Journal of Public Health and Journal of Family Welfare without the consent of research contributors.
Though the research paper was rejected, the complainant insisted that it does not absolve Bala Krishan of plagiarism attempt.
The student had also submitted a written complaint to vice-chancellor RC Sobti about alleged unethical use of her dissertation research data. She had urged the V-C to take action against into the unethical practice.
Acting on her complaint, the university formulated a five-member committee comprising senior faculty and senate members.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Jayanti Dutta said it was a very serious issue and against research ethics. The authorities should look into it so that a wrong example is not set, she said.
When contacted, Bala Krishan said he was being targeted due to professional jealousy. "The research paper was not published so there is no question of plagiarism." Dean, research, RK Kohli refused to comment over the matter, stating that the matter is being looked into.
No plagiarism detection software installed
In 2010, Panjab University had announced to develop software to check plagiarism, but nothing has been done in this regard so far. The announcement was made at a senate meeting and a committee was also formed under the chairmanship of the then research dean Shashi Sharma.
The decision was taken after three PhD students were caught copying research thesis last year. Two of the students were from the history department and one from the political science department. The software was to be installed at all libraries, where teachers could check theses and other material submitted by students.