Posts filed under ‘Sambalpur University’

Alleged Plagiarism case in Sambalpur University, Jyoti Vihar: A Global View

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Sanjib Kumar Karmee <sanjibkarmee@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Apr 6, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Subject: OTN: Alleged plagiarism case in Sambalpur University, Jyoti Vihar: A Global View
To: govori@ori.nic.in, govodisha@nic.in, cmo@ori.nic.in, cmo@nic.in, registrar@suniv.ac.in, vc@suniv.ac.in, nmahakud@gmail.com, behera.dk@gmail.com, arun.k.pujari@gmail.com, akpcs@uohyd.ernet.in
Cc: Samukhya <samukhya@yahoogroups.com>, KDDF <westernodisha@googlegroups.com>, orissatoday@googlegroups.com, orissa-education-forum@googlegroups.com, Orissa Pioneer <orissapioneer@gmail.com>, “Editor of orissadiary.com” <editor@orissadiary.com>, “orissadiary .com” <orissadiary@gmail.com>

After reading a report in the Times of India (27th March 2012), I went back to read the original article written by ex-VC of Sambalpur University Prof. Arun Kumar Pujari. [1] In his blog www.sweekaarokti.blogspot.in Prof. Pujari posted a write-up entitled “Plagiarism and Jyoti Vihar”.

Here is the link to original blog post by Prof. AK Pujari:

http://www.sweekaarokti.blogspot.in/2012/03/plagiarism-and-jyotivihar.html

The blog post of Prof. AK Pujari starts with the plagiarism row happened in IISc Bangalore. This incident made headlines in India while it was found that a publication by Prof. Rao, Prof. Krupanidhi along with two students Basant Chitara and L. S. Panchakarla lifted few sentences from another publication.[2] Later the authors apologized to the journal. Not only that, the lead authors even wrote to the editor to withdraw the paper. But, the article was retained by the editor citing its importance. Basant Chitara (the PhD student) had said that he had lifted few sentences without realizing its consequence.

Recently, I came to know that the Hungarian president Pal Schmitt was stripped of his doctorate title for plagiarism and later he had resigned from his job because of this case.[3] Similarly, earlier a German minister Mr. Guttenberg gave up his doctorate title because of plagiarism. [4] I can just go on as there are thousands of such examples.  Two academician, Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky have been maintaing a nice blog on plagirism (http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/) and alerting the research community about it. I often visit this blog and find it useful.

These incidents indicate following things:

 Culture and attitude problem:

We are promarily a copy paste society. In most of our primary schools we start mogging everything before the examination and we write exactly what is written in books. Such practices are common across India as it fetch marks to students. I was told by some of my IIT Madras friends that some of the IIT-coaching centres too follow similar practices. But, at the end students succeed in examination and this makes both the students and their parents happy. But in this process a part of the creativity is lost.

Lack of knowledge about plagiarism among Masters and PhD students:

In most of the Indian Universities there are no short term courses to on plagiarism. Various Universities in the Netherlands and Germany, where I have done most of my research work do organize seminars and short term courses on plagiarism. Such activities make the students aware of the consequences of plagiarism and how to avoid such cases. Recently, in India IITs, IISc and other institutes are taking initiatives to organize such awareness programmes.

Lack of time to supervise Masters and PhD students:

Plagiarism cases are common in the group where professors are heavily engaged in research and teaching without thinking about their time availability. Many Professors think that having well equipped labs and whole lot of research students will fetch them good numbers of publications. But, doing good science is not about labs and students. It is also about regular discussions (of  (literature and research findings) with research students, proper supervision and thorough checkup of the manuscripts. Some times Professors are unable to perform all these duties because of lack of time and large size of the group. Thus, my conclusion is that the group leaders should give adequeate time to PhD students. They should instruct each new students on how to write a manuscript and also, let the students know about the consequences of plagiarism.

Too much work pressure:

Every now and then some supervisors ask the research students to produce results and  publish papers. Because of too much pressure; some cases of plagirisms are reported with regard to scientific result manipulation.

After having analyzed the possible causes of plagiarism; let us take a look on the case of Sambalpur University case. Prof. AK Pujari mainly talks about two things: i) students are coping from teacher’s notes, books, and from internet sources while writing the examination. and ii) Plagiarism of PhD thesis books in Sambalpur University. The first thing is common acsoss in India and as I have pointed out earlier it is a cultural problem. Here as a society we need to change.

Now let us take a look on the allegations by Prof Pujari about the PhD thesis plagiarism in Sambalpur University. I have nothing against Prof. Pujari. But, why Prof. Pujari was so far silent in this case? He has said that he was threatened. However, I feel that, he could have formed a committe to look in to this matter as soon as he was aware of it. In most of the European Universities there are committees to investigate cases of plagiarism and to punish the academicians. Why Prof. Pujari did not constitute such a committe for Sambalpur University? If, what he says is true, then he was just watching helplessly while there was growing plagiarism in Sambalpur University. In this regard, Prof. Pujari owe a proper explanation to all aluminous , present students and staff of Sambalpur University.

Immediately, the present VC, Prof. Barik should call a meeting of the senate, members of student council, members of staff council, and alumni association. After that a committee should be formed to investigate the case of plagiarism of PhD thesis in Sambalpur University. In the mean time, Prof. Pujari should prepare a list of PhD thesis which he think are plagiarised. In fact, he should handover this list and other evidences to chancellor-his highness Shri Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, VC of Sambalpur University, Media and other SU affiliated bodies.

At this point, there is no point in attacking each other (as reported in TOI and other new papers). Let the investigation complete and it will be for all of us to see the truth. In fact, the Sambalpur University authority should scan the alleged plagiarized PhD thesis and put it on the internet; so that, we can check for ourselves if the allegations made by ex-VC are true. If the allegations are found to be false, then the University authority should  file a defamation case against Prof. Pujari and proceed further.

References:

1.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/Ex-Jyoti-Vihar-VC-alleges-plagiarism-in-PhD-thesis/articleshow/12423139.cms

2.http://www.nature.com/news/indian-science-adviser-caught-up-in-plagiarism-row-1.10102

3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17586128

4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12532877

Dr. Sanjib Kumar Karmee, PhD

Alumnus, Sambalpur University (MSc Chemistry, 2000 Batch),

Odisha, India

April 6, 2012 at 7:01 am 1 comment

Clipping autonomy will hurt the growth of Sambalpur University Institute of Information Technology (SUIIT)

See the following TOI report. Some people are proposing to bring Sambalpur University Institute of Information Technology (SUIIT) under Sambalpur University Such a move will hamper the growth of the institute because it will lose its decision making and administrative power to Sambalpur University. All of us know that Sambalpur University administration is too slow because it is already overloaded with work of many affiliated degree colleges.

The govt. is taking steps to make some colleges autonomous; thus reducing the work load of Sambalpur University to some extent. Sambalpur University should cut down such unnecessary work load and devote it-self completely towards opening more undergraduate, PG and integrated PhD courses.

To hold or not to hold SUIIT hand

BHUBANESWAR: Proposals are gaining ground to bring Sambalpur University Institute of Information Technology (SUIIT) under varsity statutes. A large section of the university fraternity, however, is strongly opposing any move to dilute the autonomy of SUIIT.

The two-year-old self-sustaining institute, considered the biggest success story ever for the varsity, enjoys complete financial, administrative and academic autonomy as of now. “We are not against autonomy of SUIIT. But since it is a constituent of the varsity, it should be within the framework of university statute and University Grants Commission (UGC) rules, as enjoyed by other autonomous departments of the varsity,” said professor B K Tripathy, a member of the varsity Syndicate, a representative body of educationists in the varsity. “We have requested the vice-chancellor that the matter should be discussed in the next Syndicate meeting,” he said.

A brainchild of former vice-chancellor Arun Pujari, the institute was established in 2010 as an autonomous constituent of SU. It imparts MCA, B.Tech, M.Tech and M.Sc in computer science, M.Sc in electronics and M.Sc in bioinformatics in a self-financing mode. Some of these courses were pulled out from different existing departments of the varsity and brought under SUIIT. The state government had given an initial budget of Rs 10 crore in 2009-10 for the institute.Directorate of Distance and Continuing Education (DDCE) of the varsity gave another Rs 5 crore for construction of its buildings.

Those lobbying to bring it under the varsity statute say there are other departments in the varsity, which are also running self-financing courses. So, why should SUIIT be given so much special privilege? “The idea is to bring transparency in SUIIT functioning and strengthen it further,” said professor Antaryami Panda, a Syndicate member and director of Academic Staff College.

Currently, a governing board and an executive council under the vice-chancellor takes decisions on the functioning of the institute. Though the VC nominates two Syndicate members to the board, neither the Syndicate nor the Senate (the apex decision making body of the varsity) has direct say in its affairs. SUIIT appoints its own faculty on contract and arranges visiting faculty from internally generated funds.

Members of the varsity fraternity said since the model of the institute is on the lines of International Institute of Information Technology, Bhubaneswar, it should be left to grow on its own. “The university should do hand holding for initial few years and gradually give it more autonomy. That will help the institute to grow. Bringing it under the varsity may kill the institute,” said Bhabani Hota, president of All India University Employees’ Confederation.

The University Employees Association has strongly opposed any attempt to curtail the SUIIT autonomy. “Some vested interests are trying to ruin SUIIT. We will agitate against any such attempt. It has brought glory for the university,” said Mahendra Mishra, president of the association. SUIIT, which offers B.Tech in IT and computer science, should expand and open B.Tech in civil, electrical and mechanical disciplines, he added.

January 17, 2012 at 8:32 pm 2 comments

Utkal University to introduce BTech programmes

It was very sad that a bunch of fools from western Odisha were opposing the then VC of Sambalpur University Prof AK Pujari while he was trying to introduce UG cources in Jyoti Vihar. The so called activist-fools are not aware of the fact that all most all successful institutes in the world (from IIT to MIT) have UG courses in their campuses. Universities are not merely for PG and PhD courses. A bunch of fools in western Odisha are hurting the growth of the region.

See the following is a report from The Telegraph:

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 14: TheUtkalUniversity is planning to introduce BTech programmes in nanotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence in its proposed engineering college.

There will be 30 seats for each discipline. The decision was taken at the syndicate meeting that chalked out an action plan for establishing “the centre of science and technology” within a year, under which all the new courses will run.

A committee, led by professor Trilochan Pradhan, has been assigned to conduct a “feasibility study” for the courses. The committee will also prepare a project report, including infrastructure and faculty requirement.

“Instead of the traditional branches of engineering such as mechanical, civil and electrical, the university will begin with cutting-edge technologies such as BTech in nanotechnology, BTech in robotics and artificial intelligence under its upcoming engineering college,” a senior official of the university said.

“Over 25,000 seats are lying vacant in engineering colleges across the state. But seats are not going vacant at the Indian Institute of Technology or the National Institute of Technology. It’s high time we cash on the brand of the university. All the courses will be offered at affordable fees as emphasis will be given on maintaining quality and not earning profits,” he said.

Senior faculty from the departments of knowledge engineering, physics, and chemistry will be initially engaged for the courses. The university is also exploring possible tie-ups with other premier technical institutes to pull in the best experts for its new school.

“A centre for science and technology will be opened and all the BTech disciplines will be brought under its fold. Since the construction of the centre will take time, we plan to make use of the space at the department of pharmacy and start the courses by the next academic session,” the official said.

Discussions were also held on launching of courses of food technology and agri-management. The university vice chancellor had, earlier this month, announced the launching of an engineering college on the varsity campus.

While aiming for introduction of more courses, the idea behind launching these courses was to generate funds for maintenance of the university, he said.

December 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm 1 comment

Prof Bishnu Charan Barik is the new Vice-Chancellor of Sambalpur University

Following is a report from TOI:

BHUBANESWAR: Putting to rest all controversies over the re-appointment of the incumbent vice chancellor for a three-years term, Governor M C Bhandare on Thursday appointed Bishnu Charan Barik the new vice-chancellor of Sambalpur University. Barik, an ex-pupil of the university, is currently professor of sociology at the Swami Ramananda Teerth Marathawada University in Nanded (Maharashtra).

“No pleasure can match that of working in your alma mater. I am very fortunate to have got a chance to work at the Sambalpur University where I did my post graduation,” he said.

Speaking to TOI over phone from Pune, Barik said he would fix his list of priorities soon after talking to faculty members and students. Being an alumnus of SU, Barik said he was already acquainted with the varsity, many faculty members and employees, which would be an added advantage for him.

Barik, who hails from Sabalong Kanipara (Chandol) in Kendrapara district, did his graduation from Kendrapada College, PG (sociology) from Sambalpur, MPhil from South Gujarat University and PhD from Sardar Patel Univerity. He specializes in rural sociology and has done extensive research on agrarian studies, migration and dam/water management, among others.

University insiders have welcomed Barik’s appointment. “We welcome the selection and look forward to the vision of the new V-C. Since he is an ex-student, he would be able to feel the pulse of the campus and take the best steps in the interest of the university,” said Karunakar Supakar, the chancellor’s nominee in the Syndicate, the apex decision making body of the university.

In the race for the prestigious post, Barik edged past Rajaram Panda (JNU) and present V-C Arun Pujari. Sources said the chancellor’s office was reluctant to give a second term to Pujari because that would have violated UGC norms. Besides, possibilities of his taking up the duties for a second-term had created a furor among a section of the faculty members and students. Panda, on the other hand, did not have sufficient active teaching experience. The chancellor had interviewed the three on October 15.

Earlier, the selection-cum-search committee, comprising Gujarat cadre IAS officer Pramod Mishra (Syndicate nominee), former Allahabad University V-C A Mehta (UGC nominee) and Delhi University’s Prof Poonam Saxena (chancellor nominee), had shortlisted the three names for the coveted post.

October 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm Leave a comment

Why should Prof. Arun Pujari be appointed as the VC of Sambalpur University for the second term?

Following was a repose from Dr. Arjun Purohit on the VC appointment issue of SU (this was posted in KDDF):

Dear all,
It is fascinating to see the sense of involvement of citizenry in the selection of VC of Sambalpur University. This is good. I have not noticed so much enthusiasm for a new VC for any other university in Odisha. There is good reason for that. People of the reason want to see that SU succeeds as the only full fledged multi-disciplinary institution in Western Odisha which has managed to outshine similar institutions in Odisha in spite of not too secret neglect of the state government. Among the comments, I recognise many I know and have high regards, and I understand the sincerity of there deliberations.So here is my two cents worth of input into the process of deliberation. My comments and conclusion should in no way be construed as disregard for the opinions expressed by others.
What should be the criteria for choosing the VC of SU ?  Bertrand Russell used to say,”…war is too serious a business to be left to the generals(my paraphrase)”. No single criterion is sufficient, be it scholarship,administrative excellence.popularity, and what not. The single most important goal of the university is to prepare the students for the twenty first century in spite of all odds. For that what is required is leadership with a clear vision and ability to execute the vision, and do whatever it takes to accomplish it.
Whenever I go to region, I try to meet the current VC of SU of the time because of my love for the institution. Without denigrating the contribution of so many past VCs of the institution, I must say that the current VC of SU,Dr.Pujari  is perhaps one of the best I have met. How he accomplished so much within one term is simply seemingly impossible considering the odds. He has the unique combination of all the necessary competence one can think of. By any measure, leading SU is a daunting task. But he has managed to find resources both within and outside the institution with innovative ideas to institute new programs and institutions within SU within so short of time. One of the most visible of such efforts is the creation of IIIT, which will have far reaching impact on the significance of the University. But that is not the only one. There are many other projects which are in the different stages of of implementation. One of these is to selectively upgrade some of colleges strategically located in outlying distant and severely deprived areas within the catchment of SU, and to identify bright young minds in the area, and to mentor them in becoming leaders in different scientific and technical disciplines. I was so impressed with the concept that I have volunteered to be a minor players in this enterprise.
Like all terms, his term of VC has come to an end. Now the issue in front of us is  how do you replace him, or the question can be rephrased  as, should we replace him ? Change should not be done for change’s  sake. At the same time, one also must not be married to the idea that the present incumbent is irreplaceable. In my humble opinion, if one finds somebody with his unique combination of leadership skills and proven track record,or even better than his credentials, then of course we should welcome such a person as our new VC. Not knowing the details of potential candidates, I obviously can not comment. Having said that, I also find that Dr.Pujari is young and is very energetic, far more than many senior academic leaders one can think of. Taking all these into consideration, I will personally prefer that his tenure be extended for another term. This will at least give time for the projects to be completed.
Regards
Arjun Purohit

October 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

State varsities asked to introduce five year integrated and job oriented courses

Following report is from The Pioneer:

Like technical institutions, general universities in Odisha need to pursue a special programme and prepare a vision document for next five years keeping an eye on the requirements of students. A direction in this regard has been given by Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Higher Education Chandra Sekhar Kumar to the Vice Chancellors of the State’s six general universities.

The VCs of Utkal, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Ravenshaw, Fakir Mohan and North Odisha universities have been categorically told to ensure enhancement of the education standard in their respective institutions besides special action plan to attract foreign students to the State.

Apart from regular teachings, the State’s universities need to introduce five year integrated courses like Astronomy, Astrophysics, Earth System Science, Archaeology, International Law and Disaster Management. Introduction of new and job oriented courses like Risk Management, Banking & Finance, Insurance and IT in colleges and universities were suggested. Foreign students and students having outlook would certainly prefer to pursue courses in such subjects, the VCs were told. The new courses would open up channels of education in the State, the Higher Education Secretary told the VCs. While the strength of English speaking students in the State in general is poor, this is needed to be improved by making provisions for imparting communicative English and soft skills. Similarly, courses on Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship are much needed.

Revision and modernisation of syllabi was also suggested during a daylong consultation with VCs recently. Enhancement of competencies of faculties, greater use of ICT and networking of universities in general and foreign universities in particular was discussed at length.

July 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm 1 comment

Dr. Subbarao talks about currency wars at the convocation of Sambalpur University

Following report is from TOI:

MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India has taken a stance that India will not be part of currency wars and will let exchange rate be determined by market fundamentals.

“We believe that it is in our collective interest as global citizens if exchange rates are allowed to be determined by market fundamentals,” said RBIgovernor D Subbarao at the Convocation of Sambalpur University on Thursday.

“You all probably heard of ‘currency wars’ -a situation where countries indulge in competitive devaluation of their currencies for trade advantage. That can lead to global imbalances of several kinds. In the Reserve Bank, our policy is that we do not target a specific exchange rate or a rate band. We intervene only to smoothen exchange rate volatility and prevent disruptions to macroeconomic stability,” said Subbarao. The governor added that one of the important issues on the agenda of the G-20 nations, of which India is a part, is to reach an agreement to end currency wars. “That is to reach a shared understanding on what types of interventions may be appropriate to manage the external sector and under what circumstances,” said Subbarao.

Ironically, the governor’s comments came on a day when the rupee recorded a sharp fall following equity sales by foreign institutional investors. Oil prices also came under pressure because of a rise in oil prices and increased demand from oil companies. The domestic currency which closed at 45.12/13 against the US dollar on Wednesday touched a one-week low of 45.48/50 on Thursday.

The governor said that whenever the rupee appreciates, there is a call for RBI to intervene and bring the exchange rate down. “But depreciating the exchange rate by intervention is not a completely benign option. It hurts importers who need to spend more. It hurts the government as it has to spend more on subsidizing imports such as oil and fertilizers and also spend more on external debt servicing. Intervention can also fuel inflationary pressures in which case it hurts everyone,” said Subbarao.

February 25, 2011 at 6:43 pm Leave a comment

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