HYDERABAD: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has constituted a committee to curb plagiarism in higher educational institutions to uphold academic integrity. All higher educational institutions have been asked to conduct programmes to raise awareness about plagiarism and how to quote an author correctly.
The plagiarism checks will be initiated for students of UG, PG, Masters, MPhil and PhD papers by faculty members.
The undertaking for any dissertation usually requires a written assurance from the student regarding the authenticity of his or her work. But the new rules state that the undertaking requires that the results of the final work be put through a technology-based plagiarism detector. The most commonly used anti-plagiarism software is Turnitin.
Three levels of plagiarism have been decided by the committee. There will be a zero tolerance on core areas of one’s thesis such as the abstract, observation and conclusions, whereas similarities in quoted work and bibliography will be exempted. The tolerance for the first level is from 10 to 40 per cent, and the second level from 40 to 60 per cent.
If the offence is at the third level where there is plagiarism by 60 per cent and more, the authors would lose their right to publish the work, or being guides for research work, for three years, and will also be denied successive increments for two years. Level three plagiarism among students will lead to cancellation of their enrolment in the course.
Ms Asha Rao, a teacher, says, “It is a good to practise what you preach. Teachers should not be exempted from plagiarism charges. Whenever I get an assignment from my students, I check up the first few results on Google regarding the topic and see if anything has been lifted. Plagiarism is not only denying the rightful owner credit for the work, but also shows lack of hard work and respect for one’s own work.”
Professor G. Haragopal, an educational expert, says, “There has always been a limit on words and sentences that can be borrowed from other works, but this has not been systematised. There was a case in Nagpur University, where the head of a department was found to have plagiarised a whole thesis and was awarded his PhD. It is surprising how some people get away with copying for long until it is noticed.”...