The University Grants Commission has decided to make it mandatory for all PhD students to study “Research and Publication Ethics”, a two-credit awareness course about ethics and misconducts pertaining to publication during the pre-registration course work.
It has been decided that the course will be implemented from the 2020-21 academic session. Senior academics in Kolkata welcomed the move. With the compulsory addition to the course, several teachers of Calcutta University and Rabindra Bharati University pointed out that the decision has been taken, keeping in mind the limitations of the software to check plagiarism in doctoral work.
“One of the major reasons to introduce the course is that most of the articles and books are widely available in the internet these days and as a result, some students simply download them without giving any acknowledgement to the authors. They resort to unfair means and practices, which sometimes go undetected,” said head of the department in the science faculty of Calcutta University.
He pointed out that the originality of the research work is being lost because of the plagiarism.
Vice-Chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University, Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury, said, “In India, there is a huge number of doctoral and research work lacking quality. If anyone plagiarises from other’s work, there is no worth of doing a doctoral programme that will ensure lucrative jobs and promotions.” He added this has been a matter of concern for a long time due to the failure of plagiarism software.
“One of the mechanisms that has already been adopted by UGC is to upload the thesis on a particular website in order to bring the work on a public platform. If someone finds that the work has been copied and lodges a complaint, the degree can be confiscated,” said Basu Ray Chaudhury. “The plagiarism websites do not detect copies in the regional and vernacular languages,” he added.
Several institutes, including the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, have been strict over plagiarism in the past few years even at their post-graduation level. At IIMC, if piracy is detected, the institute has a provision to take strict action against students. Most of the universities have already framed an anti-plagiarism policy while the UGC guidelines also warn the students of doctoral programmes in this regard.
Source: Times of India