Teachers to lose jobs, students their registrations if found guilty of plagiarism
Student researchers who plagiarise may lose their registration and teachers who do so could lose their jobs with the University Grants Commission (UGC) approving a draft regulation on plagiarism which will be notified after approval by the Human Resource Development Ministry.
The UGC has approved the UGC (Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Education Institutions) regulations 2018 in its meeting held on March 20. Hindustan Times has seen the minutes of the meeting.
The law prescribes graded punishment for plagiarism.
The draft rules for students states that in non-core areas, plagiarism of up to 10% would not invite any penalty while that of between 10% and 40% would mean the students will have to submit a revised research paper within six months.
In case the similarities are between 40% and 60%, students will be debarred from submitting a revised paper for one year. A student’s registration for a programme will be cancelled if the similarities are above 60%.
Teachers whose academic and research papers have similarities ranging from 10% to 40% with other papers will be asked to withdraw the manuscript. In case the similarities are between 40% and 60%, they will not be allowed to supervise new Masters/MPhil/PhD students for two years and will also l be denied the right to one annual increment.
In case of repeat plagiarism of over 60% similarity, the faculty members will be suspended, even dismissed.
“I am all for checking plagiarism which is indeed a problem in India within academia. We have very lax standards on this count and that is what seems to have prompted government to propose such a law. It would have been better if universities had strong internal mechanisms as in so many other countries,” said Dinesh Singh, former vice-chancellor of Delhi University.
India has been witness to several plagiarism charges against central university vice-chancellors and teachers in the past few years. Pondicherry University V-C Chandra Krishnamurthy quit in 2016 after a prolonged stand-off with the HRD ministry, following allegations that she plagiarized large parts of a book mentioned in her resume. The most celebrated case is that of BS Rajput, the VC of Kuamon University, who was a serial plagiarist; eventually, seven Stanford University professors wrote to then President APJ Abdul Kalam about him.
According to UGC, all higher educational institutions will have to develop a policy on plagiarism and get it approved by relevant statutory bodies and display it on their websites. In September last year, UGC formed a committee and sought public feedback on a proposed plagiarism policy.