Saturday, April 16, 2011

Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi on the IIT-K Plagiarism Case

Some of you may remember this case from October 2010, when two papers from an IIT-K group were retracted for plagiarism -- even Wikipedia provided the raw material for one of the papers!

At that time, I wrote:

This is the first time I have come across IIT researchers being implicated in a plagiarism case. Let's see how the institutional mechanisms at IIT-K deal with this case.

As it turns out, not so well. Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi, who has been keeping a watchful eye on this case, notes that IIT-K has promised, repeatedly, that it would bring a closure to the case "soon" -- which is yet to arrive, some six months after the story broke.

An exasperated Sanghi closes his post with these observations and speculations:

Why is it that IIT Kanpur is delaying the matter. One can only guess, but my feeling is that it is waiting for the faculty member to resign. No one wants to take any decision in such a case. So they will just let the faculty member remain in the state of stress for a long enough time that either the press and public forgets about it, or the faculty member for his own sanity resigns and moves on. And once the faculty member resigns, no decision needs to be taken.

I can guess that if the offense was found to be minor, a decision would have been taken by now. And if the offense is serious, then the administration is not comfortable taking a decision, since it opens up all the past cases where no decision has been taken for years.


  1. ಅರುಣ ಪ್ರಕಾಶ said...


    Did not know where to post this. But since this post also deals with the topic, I think it is not completely out of place here.

    Perhaps the last has not been heard on the Guttenberg scandal. The university investigation clearly says that the ex-defense minister cheated on his thesis. Here's the link:,,15056863,00.html?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf