Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, is in the process of formulating a policy for detecting and deterring plagiarism on its campus and affiliated colleges.
There is no existing framework in the university that can prevent plagiarism or decide on the action to be taken in case the charges are proved.
Hence, the responsibility of drafting a policy has been entrusted to the research and promotion cell (RPC) of the university.
Professor Lalit Kumar Bansal, dean of research, PU, said there are no set guidelines to deal with plagiarism as of now.
“We have prepared a draft document containing the guidelines for dealing with plagiarism,” said Prof Bansal.
He further said the policy would underline the importance of maintaining academic integrity and restraining from enjoying unfair academic advantage.
He said the policy would also define the penalty scale if someone was found guilty of plagiarism.
The draft will be placed before PU vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover.
Welcoming the move, Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) member Professor Akshaya Kumar said the varsity needed a strict policy for putting a check on the malpractice.
He said: “We need to develop a strong mechanism to verify the credentials of research theses, reports and assignments.”
He also demanded that the university should keep a check on research work being published in substandard journals.
“Due to pressure of colleting scores under the academic performance index (API), a large number of faculty members, especially those in colleges, are getting their research work published in lesser-known journals.
Such works should also be checked for plagiarism,” said Kumar.
Adopting a zero tolerance attitude towards plagiarism, the University Grants Commission (UGC) recently directed all universities to develop software to detect plagiarism.
Last year, the varsity had purchased the licenses of software that could detect plagiarism.
The software was made available to all departments but, the facility was utilised by only a few departments, sources said.
What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism is the act of reproducing the work or idea of someone else and presenting it as one’s own.
Three PhD students, two from the department of history and one from the department of political science, had plagiarised their research thesis in 2010.
In 2012, a faculty member was accused of using research data from a student’s dissertation.