Fabrication of data in research journals: PGI doctor censured, another exoneratedUpdated: Oct 31, 2019, 00:22 IST
The Union health ministry has censured a former head of the pharmacology department at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in research paper fraud case.
The details of decision taken at governing body meeting, chaired by Union health and family welfare minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, in September, were released on Tuesday.
Disciplinary proceedings against professor Amitava Chakrabarti, former head, department of pharmacology, were taken after the submission of the inquiry report by the institute administration.
“After due deliberation on the recommendations of the HR sub-committee, the governing body decided to impose a minor penalty of ‘censure’ under Rule II (i) of the CCS (CCA) Rules 1965 upon professor Amitava Chakrabarti, ex-head of department of pharmacology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, with respect to the chargesheet issued to him under Rule 14 of the above-mentioned rules,” governing body members noted.
The case came to fore in 2014, when doctors of the pharmacology department, including its head Dr Amitava Chakrabarti, published a research paper in a peer-reviewed journal, claiming that the drug information unit—a helpline for doctors—received 56 calls in a month, however, the media reports highlighted that it just received one call in three years between 2011 to 2013.
Director of PGIMER Dr Jagat Ram confirmed that the penalty of censure had been imposed.
On how the penalty will be imposed, a senior official in the PGI administration said as the doctor has achieved superannuation last year, it will be registered in records that the doctor was issued a censure in a case pertaining to a research paper.
Dr Chakrabarti, however, said that he is unaware of any such decision taken in this regard.
“I am also keen to know what they have done in this case. In RTI reply, PGIMER has told me that no such agenda regarding this case was put before the governing body. They should keep me in the loop and without knowing anything, I cannot comment on the case,” Dr Amitava Chakrabarti said.
In another case, professor Rakesh Sehgal, head of the parasitology department, was exonerated for alleged data fabrication in a research publication.
“It is seen that the preponderance of probability of the offence having been committed is not clear. Accordingly, the charge of publishing fabricated data framed against professor Rakesh Sehgal of department of parasitology is not proved,” the governing body said.
Since the charge was not proved, the governing body exonerated Sehgal from the charges levelled against him,” the governing body added.