For students, the punishment could range from losing credits to cancellation of their registration.Guilty faculty could face cancellation of registration and no increments.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has come out with draft rules to make it difficult for students, researchers and the faculty at higher education institutes to plagiarise assignments, projects, theses, research work and dissertations.
The Draft UGC (Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Education Institutions) Regulations stipulate higher education institutes install software to ensure papers from students and faculty are free from plagiarism at the time of submission. The rules also make it mandatory for authors to sign an undertaking that their work is original.
The guides or supervisors approving the thesis would have to sign an undertaking that the work assessed by them was free from plagiarism.
Institutes would allow researchers, faculty and students enrolled under MPhil and PhD programmes access to software to cross-check their scripts before submitting their thesis or paper.
“All higher education institutes shall submit to Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) soft copies of all MPhil, PhD dissertations and these are carried out in its various departments after the award of degrees for hosting in the digital repository under the Shodh Ganga e-repository programme,” the draft rules say.
The INFLIBNET Centre is an autonomous inter-university centre of the UGC under the ministry of human resource development (MHRD).
These rules will come into effect after September 30 as the UGC is awaiting feedback from all the stakeholders.
“The intention behind these rules was to improve quality and standard of education of higher education institutes in the country,” an MHRD official said.
The move will impact students in India’s 760 universities, including 43 central and 316 state public universities and 75 institutes of national importance. There are 38,498 colleges and another 12,276 stand-alone institutions in the country.
The UGC draft rules has proposed punishment for students and faculty if found guilty of plagiarising original and published content.
For students, the punishment could range from losing credits to cancellation of their registration.”If plagiarism is proved on a date later than the date of award of degree or credit as the case may be, then his/her degree or credit shall be put in abeyance for a period decided by the Academic Misconduct Panel (AMP) and Plagiarism Discipline Authority (PDA),” the rules say.
The higher education institutes would be mandated to set up an AMP, comprising four senior academicians, including one from outside the institution, and PDA, a three-member committee headed by the head of institution.The PDA will take action on the recommendation of AMP. Its decision would be final and binding.
The same authorities will decide on the action against faculty, staff and researchers if they are accused of plagiarism. Their punishment ranges from forcing them to withdraw their manuscripts and denial of increment for two successive years. They would also be prohibited from submitting their papers for three years. “They shall not be allowed to be a supervisor to any undergraduate, postgraduate, Master’s, MPhil, PhD student/scholar for a period of three years,” the rules say.