The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) will soon make rules to deal with plagiarism and research misconduct as there is no policy with provision of punishment if someone is found guilty in such cases.
The decision was taken after repeated instances of doctors’ involvement in “unethical practices” while conducting research came to the fore.
As many as four doctors have been charge-sheeted for research misconduct and plagiarism at the institute. They have been given time to reply as to why action should not be taken against them.
These doctors are Dr Amitava Chakravarti,head of the pharmacology department; Dr Pinaki Dutta, associate professor, department of endocrinology; Dr Santosh Kumar, associate professor in department of urology and Dr Rakesh Sehgal, head of parasitology department. Dr Pinaki Dutta recently responded to the notice and is learnt to have accepted his fault.
In November 2016, Dr Subhash Varma, dean PGIMER, who was also officiating director at that time, had formed a committee to frame guidelines to check plagiarism and govern research practices.
For instance, it mentioned that if 10 words are copied consecutively it will be considered plagiarism.
“The guidelines only explained plagiarism and what preventive steps should to be taken. But it never discussed as what action should be taken against those found guilty of research misconduct. Now, the administration is planning to have a policy which will clearly describe what action will be taken. The punishment can be departmental or academic,” said an officer from PGI administration.
“One can be demoted, terminated from services, their increment can be stopped or they can be barred from participating in any research for 2-3 years,” he said.