Raising the issue of plagiarism in research in educational institutions in the country, a BJP MP on Tuesday said in Rajya Sabha that there should be zero tolerance towards it and demanded steps to curb the menace.
Former Union Minister KJ Alphons said during the Zero Hour that if faculty members indulge in plagiarism they should be dismissed from service and a subject, ‘Research Integrity’, should be added in the curriculum of institutions. Terming plagiarism as a “very serious problem”, he said it was also giving a bad name to the country as some research papers sent to international journals have been returned due to plagiarism. There must be serious research in the country and not this “cut and paste” kind of research, he said.
“There should be zero tolerance towards plagiarism. Those people, who are found to be plagiarising, if they are members of the faculty, they must be dismissed under 56(J). We must include a subject in the curriculum called Research Integrity. Fourth, an Office of Research Integrity may be set up which will report directly to the Prime Minister,” he said.
Alphons said he was sure that very good research is going on in some institutions and universities. “But in a very large number of universities, a lot of research is going on which is basically plagiarism, which basically means that they are stealing the ideas from the published material,” he said.
“In 2018, 127 published articles in international journals had to be retracted because they were found to be plagiarised. One in every three articles submitted by Indian authors is returned today because of plagiarism,” he said, adding that a software can run through the thesis and can tell if the article is plagiarised.
“Today, there are big shops outside university campuses which sell thesis, and I am told, if you don’t permit plagiarism, how would you have all these Ph.D. and M.Phil. thesis published. This is a very serious problem. This brings a bad reputation to the country. I think there must be serious research in the country and not this ‘cut and paste’ kind of research. There is a serious problem with regulation,” he said.
The BJP MP expressed shock that the UGC has issued guidelines stating that “10 per cent plagiarism is okay. I am completely shocked. If there is 10 to 40 per cent plagiarism, the UGC says that the candidate can resubmit the thesis. I am again completely shocked,” the BJP MP said.
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