MHRD Toughen PhD Anti-plagiarism Norms

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Union government has ordered Universities to implement Turnitin software to curb the practice of plagiarism in PhD theses

With an aim to improve quality of education and research in Indian Universities, the union government has decided to toughen the PhD anti-plagiarism norms using Turnitin software to check the plagiarism in PhD theses.

All about UGC draft policy

According to the reports, the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) has approved the draft policy for anti-plagiarism, which was drafted in September 2017. The UGC (Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Education Institutions) Regulations 2017, as a draft, was recommended by a Committee of experts to look into issues of Plagiarism and recommend some institutional mechanism to eliminate the scope of this menace in the higher education system of the country.

The HRD minister has also said that those people whose dissertations have plagiarised content would not get the doctorate degree in the coming days. As per the UGC Regulation 2017, every researcher, faculty and M.Phil/PhD student will be provided with an account in plagiarism detection tools for checking the content of their scripts. For non-core cases, similarities up to 10% is non-punishable while for similarities from 10% to 40%, the student will have to submit a revised script within six months.

For similarities above 60%, no marks or credit will be provided and students’ registration for that course will be cancelled. The supervisor will have to submit a certificate indicating that the work by researchers under his guidance is plagiarism free. Institutes are also required to develop a policy on plagiarism and get it approved by the relevant statutory body of the University. They are also required to submit soft copies of all M.Phil. and PhD dissertations on INFLIBNET.

“One person’s PhD thesis has been wrongly used by some others to complete their theses. As such cases are on the rise, we have decided to use software such as ‘Turnitin’ and others to keep a check on such theses,” Mr Javadekar told reporters in Shirdi.

The draft policy also includes those cases where the degree or credit has already been obtained. In such case, the degree shall be temporarily suspended for a period decided by the Academic Misconduct Panel and Plagiarism Disciplinary Authority.

Official notification about the approval of UGC Regulations 2017 has not been notified by UGC yet.