Two professors from Zoology department working at an Ahmednagar-based college affiliated to the University of Pune, have been stripped off their status as PhD guides and two increments have been stopped, after they were found guilty of plagiarism.
The professors Dr M Arif Shaikh and Dr Balraj Khobragade had allegedly lifted some contents from a research paper published in 2012 by a professor attached to Pune’s premier Agharkar Research Institute’s professor and used them in their own research papers. A departmental inquiry was ordered in 2012 by the Board of Colleges and University Development (BCUD) following professor Dr Surendra Ghaskadbi, head, Division of Animal Sciences at Agharkar Research Institute approached the varsity and registered a complaint against the two professors. after he found out that some contents of his research paper was lifted by the two professors and they were used in their own research papers.
“We had received a complaint from Dr Ghaskadbi that some content from his study of chromosomes of house squirrels and shrews, published in online journals, were lifted by these two professors and used in their own research papers,” said Dr V B Gaikwad, the director of BCUD. Dr Ghaskadbi complained to the university and also with the journal where the plagiarized content was used. The journal then chose to remove the research papers.
Gaikwad said that both the professors were issued show cause notices to which they had replied and confessed to the plagiarism and tendered the apology.
“They also offered their apologies to the ARI researcher. But what they did was against the academic ethics. We had constituted an inquiry and they were found guilty and now we have taken action against them,” said Gaikwad.
Both the professors have been barred to be guide for the Phd students and their two increments have also been stopped. Pune university now uses a software called ‘Turn It In’, which is an internationally recognized anti-plagiarism software and till date, they have managed to detect three cases of plagiarism in research papers.
It is interesting to note that as guides, the accused also had access to the same software that eventually did them in. The Nagar professors’ case was the first one where the varsity received report and took action. Report is awaited in other two cases.
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