A former vice-chancellor considered close to veteran Congress leader Arjun Singh will be stripped off his doctorate for allegedly plagiarising chapters from his guides thesis.
The executive council of Bhopals Barkatullah University (BU) on Friday decided to withdraw the PhD awarded to Kamlakar Singh,holding that 28 pages in two chapters of his thesis in Zoology were verbatim copy of the thesis of his guide,Dr S P Norton.
Singh had joined BU as an assistant registrar in 1985 and completed his thesis two years later and went on to become the V-C of Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University in 2005,a position he had held till recently.
The matter first surfaced nearly a decade ago and was pursued vigorously by the ABVP,both on the streets and in courts. ABVP alleged that Singhs political connections helped him survive the axe despite overwhelming evidence against him.
Singh fought a long legal battle over several years but finally lost out in the Supreme Court following which the executive council served a notice on him,asking him why action be not initiated against him.
The council did not find his explanation satisfactory and barring two dissenting voices decided to take his doctorate away. The decision paves the way for further action against Singh who got promotions and pay hikes on the basis of the plagiarised doctorate.
Titled,The effect of the latex of opuntia coecinelifera on the fertility of female albino rat with special reference to uterine mast cells, the thesis ran into trouble in 2000 when Singh became the registrar of BU.
The then V-C had taken up the matter with the Governor and a probe panel found that portions were lifted but not acknowledged. The Governor suggested that it was within powers of the V-C to take action against the registrar,but before the latter could proceed he himself was removed.
Another inquiry was instituted and the new probe panel recommended that Singh be asked to re-submit his thesis under a new supervisor after removing copied portions.
He went on to become the vice-chancellor while the ABVP continued to gun for him holding protests.