Friday, August 03, 2007

Plagiarizing from a plagiarizer

S. Seethalakshmi and S Nandagopal of ToI have the story:

A research guide in Bangalore University copies from student, little realising that the student himself had lifted material from books.

What is even more bizarre is the way this seemingly straight-forward stuff was handled before the Governor of Karnataka -- who is also the Chancellor of the Bangalore University -- was forced to step in:

This is how the sordid saga unfolded. In 2002, Venkataramanappa did his Ph.D on 'Grameena Karnatakada Sanna Raitharu: Ondu Samaja Shashtriya Adhyayana' under the guidance of Mylarappa from the department of sociology.

Following complaints of plagiarism, ISEC was asked to examine the thesis and submit a report to the university. Though ISEC found the thesis was plagiarised and ghost-written, BU chose to ignore the report.

It referred the issue to Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth, a deemed university in Pune, to conduct another probe. Curiously, some members of the inquiry committee did not even know how to read or write Kannada. This inquiry was rather vague in its findings but BU’s syndicate accepted the report and gave a clean chit to Mylarappa and Venkataramanappa. Sensing there was something wrong, the chancellor ordered a fresh probe which revealed the fraud. [Bold emphasis added]

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Thanks to my colleague Jayant Haritsa for the alert.