New Delhi, April 3: Student scholars and teachers who plagiarize may end up losing not just their registration but their jobs as well as the University Grants Commission (UGC) is approving a draft regulation on plagiarism which is yet to be approved by the Human Resource Development Ministry. On March 20, the UGC, in its meeting, had approved the UGC (Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Education Institutions) regulations 2018.

According to Hindustan Times, which had access to the minutes of the meeting, the consequences of plagiarism were grave and there was also graded punishment for the same. Reportedly, there were different punitive actions for different levels of plagiarism. It states that in case of students, plagiarism of up to 10% would be overlooked and students wouldn’t be penalised. If plagiarism is between 10% and 40%, students would have to submit a revised research paper within a span of six months. In case the copying is between 40% and 60%, students would not be allowed to submit a revised paper for a year and if the similarities are above 60%, then a student’s registration for a particular programme would stand cancelled.

For teachers who are found guilty of plagiarism between 10% to 40%, they would be asked to withdraw their academic and research papers’ manuscript. If the similarities range between 40% and 60%, they would not be allowed to supervise new Masters, M.Phil and PhD students for a period of two years and would also lose the right to one-year annual increment subsequently. If plagiarism is rampant in a teacher’s academic paper, then he/she would be suspended or even dismissed.

Cases of plagiarism have been rampant in India. Several high profile cases have come to light which has caused furore in the field of academia. It was in 2014 that former vice-chancellor of Delhi University Deepak Pental was put behind bars after he was found guilty of plagiarism. In a similar case, in January this year, Mumbai School of Economics and Public Policy (MSEPP) Professor Neeraj Hatekar was accused of plagiarizing his PhD thesis by copying content from his wife Rajani Mathur’s M.Phil dissertation. But these cases are just the tip of the iceberg.

With reference to this, former Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh too spoke for strong measures to be taken against those who are found copying blatantly. He added that the Indian education system had a casual attitude and it was because of this that the government was proposing such a law.