The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released the Draft UGC Regulations 2017 regarding Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Education Institutions to crack down on students and faculty found plagiarising. The UGC has asked stakeholders to give their suggestions by September 30. UGC has drafted this new arrangement to check the hazard and push to have zero resilience towards written falsification.
A researcher could confront cancellation of his or her enrollment if found to have appropriated another person’s work and a staff, if discovered guilty of the same, could be suspended from distributing any work, debarred from publishing any work, denied yearly additions and precluded from administering any under study or researcher.
Educational institutions have also been asked to form an Academic Misconduct Panel (AMP) to investigate allegations of plagiarism and submit a report to the Plagiarism Disciplinary Authority (PDA) of the Institute. It says the authorities of Higher Education Institution (HEI) shall impose the maximum penalty of an act of plagiarism and initiate proceedings.
According to the UGC latest draft policy, three sorts of punishments would be imposed on those discovered liable of lifting another person’s work. While in case of “Level 1 and Level 2” offense, the researchers would get a chance to revise their work. The draft rules for students state that in non-core areas, plagiarism of up to 10% would not invite any penalty while in cases of up to 40% plagiarism, the student will not be given any marks and/or credits and will be asked to submit a revised script within a stipulated time period not exceeding six months.
“Level 3” offence, which is “60% or above similarities” would result in no marks and the applicant’s registration for that course will be canceled. That’s for plagiarism in non-core areas. However, for plagiarism in core areas, there will be ‘zero tolerance‘.
The core work carried out by the student, faculty, staff and researcher shall be based on original ideas and shall be covered by a zero tolerance policy on plagiarism. The core work shall include abstract, summary, hypothesis, observations, results, conclusions and recommendations. In case plagiarism is established in the core work claimed, then Plagiarism Disciplinary Authority (PDA) of the HEI shall impose the maximum penalty.
In case of faculty, for similarities ranging from 0-40%, they will be asked to withdraw the manuscript and will not be allowed to publish work for at least a three years and be denied two successive increments. These regulations will be retrospective.
The draft also points out that all institutes should instruct students and staff about proper attribution, seeking permission from authors wherever necessary and acknowledgment of sources compatible with the needs and specificities of disciplines.
As per the new policy, if any member of the academic community has reason to suspect a case of plagiarism, he or she shall report it to the competent/ designated authority of the university. Upon receipt of such a complaint or allegation, the university authority shall refer the case to the AMP, which in turn shall submit a report to the PDA.
All students submitting the thesis, dissertation, term papers, reports or any other such documents to the HEI shall submit an undertaking indicating that the document has been prepared by him or her and that the document is his/ her original work and free of any plagiarism.
Institutes will also be required to conduct sensitization seminars and awareness programmes on responsible research, assignments, project work, dissertations to promote academic integrity and ethics in education. The draft calls for setting up of PDA, Academic Misconduct Panel (AMP) and installation of software to detect plagiarism, among other reforms at universities and colleges over the country.
It will also be mandatory for the HEIs to submit to INFLIBNET (Information and Library Network) soft copies of all M Phil., Ph.D. dissertations and theses carried out in its various departments after the award of degrees for hosting in the digital repository under the “Shodh Ganga e-storehouse (repository) Program”.
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