The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Aiims) has ordered an inquiry into plagiarism charges against a senior doctor at the department of laboratory medicine.
The review article, 'Genetic Diversity in Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)', published in Reviews in Medical Virology in 2009 by additional professor Muhammad Irshad had to be withdrawn from the web journal in December 2009 because there were at least 20 overlaps.
The overlap included figures from 'Genetic Diversity and Evolution of Hepatitis C virus — 15 years on' published in Journal of General Virology in 2004 by Professor Peter Simmonds from the University of Edinburgh, which was first reported by HT (January 19, 2010, 'Lifted? AIIMS prof removes article from medical journal').
After almost 15 months, Aiims director Dr RC Deka has constituted a two-member committee to probe the plagiarism issue. Dr SK Acharya, head of department, gastroentology and Dr YD Sharma, head of department, bio-chemistry, have been asked to submit their report within two months.
In October 2007, six professors at Aiims were charged for publishing the same research material in two different medical journals, which amounts to academic fraud. But no action was taken.
"This is probably the first time that the administration is taking the plagiarism charge seriously. It is a good step towards nipping the problem of academic theft," said a senior professor from Aiims, who did not want to be named.