UGC Public Notice: Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Educational Institutions Regulations, 2017 [Draft]


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University Grants Commission
New Delhi – 110 002

No.F. 1-18/2010(CPP-II)
Date: 1st September 2017

Public Notice

University Grants Commission had constituted a Committee of experts to look into issues of Plagiarism and recommend some institutional mechanism to eliminate the scope of this menace in higher education system in the country. The objective of the regulations is to promote academic research and deterrence from plagiarism by developing systems to detect plagiarism. As a result, the Committee emphasized on the needs to refer plagiarism in a broader way by putting appropriate systems and checks in place.

The draft University Grants Commission (Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Education Institutions) Regulations, 2017 prepared by the Committee is attached herewith for observations and suggestions of stakeholders. The Feedback and comments on the above draft may be sent to UGC on pgmhei.2017@gmail.com on or before 3oth September, 2017.

(P.K. Thakur)
Secretary


[To be published in the Gazette of lndia, Part III, Section 4 (Extraordinary)]

(UNIVERSITY GRANTS COMMISSION)

UNIVERSITY GRANTS COMMISSION (PROMOTION OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND PREVENTION OF PLAGIARISM IN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS) REGULATIONS – 2017

NOTIFICATION

Preamble

Whereas, University Grants Commission (UGC), as per UGC Act, 1956, is mandated to coordinate and determine the standards of higher education;

And whereas, assessment of academic and research work done by a student or a faculty or a researcher or a staff, in the form of essays, assignments, term papers, project reports, coursework, thesis and dissertation leading to the award of degrees, research papers, policy papers, chapters in books, full-fledged books and any other work including computer programs is instrumental in identifying and certifying the academic standards accomplished by such student(s) or faculty or researcher(s) or staff and projecting them far and wide as an objective and impartial indicator of the performance of individual(s);

And whereas. any academic and research work undertaken in any form by a student or a faculty or a researcher or a staff, reflects the extent to which elements of academic integrity, originality and innovation have been injected in various processes of education adopted by Higher Educational Institutions(HEI’s) ;

Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (j) of Section 12 read with clauses (f) and (g) of sub-section (1) of Section 26 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, the University Grants Commission hereby makes the following regulations:-

1.Short title, application and commencement –
(a) These regulations shall be called the University Grants Commission (Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Educational Institutions) Regulations, 2017.
(b) They shall apply’ to the students, researchers, faculty and staff of all Higher Educational Institutions in the country.
(c) These regulations shall come into force from the date of their notification in the Official Gazette.

2.Definitions –
In these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires-
a. “Academic Misconduct Panel” shall mean the body constituted to investigate allegations of plagiarism as described under clause tr in these regulations.
b. “Academic Integrity” is the intellectual honesty in proposing, performing and reporting any activity, which leads to the creation of intellectual property.
c. “Author” includes a student or a faculty or a researcher or staff of Higher Educational Institution (HEI) n’ho claims to be the creator of the work under consideration;
d. “College” means any institution, whether known as such or by any other name which provides for a course of study for obtaining any qualification from a university and which, in accordance with the rules and regulations of such
university, is recognized as competent to provide for such course of study and present students undergoing such course of study for the examination for the award of such qualification;
e. “Commission” means the University Grants Commission as defined in the University Grants Commission Act 1956;
f. “Degree” means any such degree, as may, with the previous approval of the Central Government, be specified in this behalf by the University Grants Commission, by notification in the official Gazette, under section zz of the university Grants Commission Act, 1956;
g. “Faculty” refers to a person who is teaching and / or guiding students enrolled in an Institution of Higher Education in any capacity whatsoever i.e. regular, ad-hoc, guest, temporary, visiting etc;
h. “Higher Educational Institution (HEI)” means an institution of learning including a university, an institution deemed to be university, a college, an institution of national importance declared as such by an Act of Parliament, or a constituent unit of such institution, which is imparting (whether through conduct of regular classes
or distance education systems) higher education after twelve years of schooling leading to the award of a degree or diploma;
i. “Information” includes data, message, text, images, sound, voice, codes, computer programs, software and databases or micro film or computer generated micro fiche;
j. “Notification” means a notification published in the Official Gazette and the expression “notify” with its cognate meanings and grammatical variation shall be construed accordingly;
k. “Plagiarism” means an act of academic dishonesty and a breach of ethics. It involves using someone else’s work as one’s own. It also includes data plagiarism and self plagiarism; ”
l. “Programme” means a course or programme of study leading to the award of a degree or a diploma in Institution of Higher Education;
m. “Researcher” refers to a person conducting academic / scientific research in Institution of Higher Education.
n. “Script” includes research paper, thesis, study, project report, assignment, dissertation and any other such work submitted for assessment / opinion leading to the award of degree or publication in print or electronic media by students or faculty or staff of an Institution of Higher Education;
Note: This shall however exclude answer scripts submitted in response to a question paper set by a HEI.
o. “Source” means the published primary and secondary material from any’ source whatsoever and includes written information and opinions gained directly from other people, including eminent scholars, public figures and practitioners in any form whatsoever,er as also data and information in the electronic form be it audio, video, image or text Information being given the same meaning as defined under Section 2 (i) (v) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and reproduced here in Regulation 2 (l).
p. “Staff’refers to all non-teaching staff working in Institution of Higher Education in any capacity whatsoever i.c. regular, temporary, contractual, outsourced etc.
q. “Student” means a person duly admitted and pursuing a programme of study including a research programme in full time or part-time or distant mode;
r. “University” means a university established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a Provincial Act or a State Act, and includes an institution deemed to be university;
s. “Year” means the academic session in which a proven offence has been committed.

Words and expressions used and not defined in these regulations but defined in the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in UGC Act, 1956.

3. Objectives

3.1 To create academic awareness about responsible conduct of research, study, project work, assignment, thesis, dissertation, promotion of academic integrity and prevention of misconduct including plagiarism in academic writing among students, researchers, faculty and other members of academic staff as well as any employee of HEIs.
3.2 To establish institutional mechanism through education and training to facilitate responsible conduct of research, study, project work, assignment, thesis, dissertation, promotion of academic integrity and deterrence from plagiarism.
3.3.To develop systems to detect plagiarism and to set up mechanisms to prevent plagiarism and punish a student, faculty, or staff of HEI committing the act of plagiarism.

4. Duties of HEI:

Every HEI should establish the mechanism as prescribed in these regulations to enhance awareness about responsible conduct of research and academic activities, promotion of integrity and deterrence from plagiarism.

5. Awareness Programmes and Trainings:

(a) Every HEI shall instruct students, faculty and staff about proper attribution, seeking permission of the author wherever necessary, acknowledgement of source compatible with the needs and specificities of disciplines and in accordance with rules and regulations governing the source.
(b) AIl HEIs shall conduct sensitization seminars/ awareness programmes every semester on responsible conduct of research, project work, assignment, thesis, dissertation, promotion of academic integrity and ethics in education for students, faculty and other members of academic staff.
(c) All HEIs shall
i. Include the cardinal principles of academic integrity in the curricula of Undergraduate (UG)/Postgraduate (PG)/Master’s degree as a compulsory course work.
ii. Include elements of responsible conduct of research and publication ethics as a compulsory course work for M.Phil. and Ph.D. Scholars.
iii. Include elements of responsible conduct of research and publication ethics in Orientation and Refresher Courses organized for faculty and other members of academic staff.
iv’. Shall train student, faculty, staff and researcher for using plagiarism detection tools and reference management tools.
v. Shall establish facility equipped with modern technologies for detection of plagiarism.
vi. Shall encourage student, faculty, staff

6. Curbing Plagiarism

a) Every HEI shall declare and implement the technology based mechanism using appropriate software so as to ensure that documents such as thesis, dissertation, term papers, reports, publications or any other such documents are free of plagiarism at the time of their submission.
b) Every student submitting a thesis, dissertation, term papers, reports or any other such documents to the HEI shall submit an undertaking indicating that the document has been prepared by him or her and that the document is his/her original work and free of any plagiarism.
c) Every faculty, researcher and M.Phil/Ph.D students should be provided account in plagiarism detection tools for checking the content of their scripts .
d) The undertaking shall include the fact that the document has been duly checked through a Plagiarism detection tool approved by the HEI.
e) The HEI shall develop a policy on plagiarism and get it approved by the relevant statutory bodies of the University.
0 Each supervisor shall submit a certificate indicating that the work done by the researcher under him / her is plagiarism free.
g) All HEIs shall submit to INFLIBNET soft copies of all M.Phil., Ph.D. dissertations and theses carried out in its various departments after the award of degrees for hosting in the digital repository under the “Shodh Ganga e-repository” programme.
h) All HEIs shall create Institutional Repository on institute website which shall include dissertation / thesis / paper / publication and other in-house publications.
7. Similarity checks for exclusion from Plagiarism The similarity checks for plagiarism shall exclude the following:
i. All quoted work either falling under public domain or reproduced with all necessary permission and/or attribution.
ii. All references, bibliography, table of content, preface and acknowledgements.
iii. All small similarities of minor nature.
iv. All generic terms, laws, standard symbols and standards equations.


8. Zero Tolerance Policy in core area:

The core work carried out by the student, faculty, staff and researcher shall be based on original ideas and shall be covered by Zero Tolerance Policy on Plagiarism. In case Plagiarism is established in the core work claimed then Plagiarism Disciplinary Authority (PDA) of the HEI shall impose maximum penalty.

The core work shall include abstract, summary, hypothesis, observations, results, conclusions and recommendations.

9. Levels of Plagiarism in non-core areas

For all other (non-core)cases, plagiarism would be quantified into following levels in ascending order of severity for the purpose of its definition:
i. Similarities upto 10% .- excluded
ii. Level 1: Similarities above 10% to 40%
iii. Level 2: Similarities above 40% Io 60%
iv. Level 3: Similarities above 60%

10. Detection/Reporting/Handling of Plagiarism

If any member of the academic community suspects with appropriate proof that a case of plagiarism has happened in any document, he or she shall report it to the competent/designated authority of the university. Upon receipt of such a complaint or allegation the university authority shall refer the case to the Academic Misconduct Panel
(AMP) of the HEI who in turn shall submit a report to the Plagiarism Disciplinary Authority (PDA).

The authorities of HEI can also take su motu notice of an act of plagiarism and initiate proceedings under these regulations. Similarly proceedings can also be initiated by the HEI on the basis of findings of an examiner.

11. Academic Misconduct Panel (AMP)

i. AMP shall be constituted by the HEI to investigate about the allegation of plagiarism and submit the report to the PDA.
ii. The AMP shall have the power to assess the level of plagiarism and thus recommend penalty (ies) accordingly.
iii. The AMP shall consist of four members who shall be senior academicians with good publication record with at least one member nominated by the Head of HEI from outside the HEL The Chairman of the AMP shall be an academic
functionary (Dean/Pro-VC/Senior Academician) of the HEI. The third member shall be a reputed Academician from the Discipline in which the plagiarism is alleged. The fourth member shall be an expert well versed with anti plagiarism tools.
iv. The AMP shall follow the principles of natural justice while deciding about the allegation of plagiarism against the student, researcher, faculty member or any other employee of HEI.
v. The AMP shall send the report after investigation and the recommendation on penalties to be imposed to the PDA preferably within a period of 45 days from the date of complaint / initiation of the proceedings in case of su motu notice.
vi. The AMP shall provide a copy of the report to the person(s) against whom
inquiry report is submitted.

12. Plagiarism Disciplinary Authority (PDA):

i. PDA shall be constituted by the HEI to consider the recommendation of the AMP and take appropriate decision after giving a hearing to the accused person.
ii. There shall be three members in the PDA chaired by head of the HEI / The Head of the institution/ Appointing and Dismissal Authority. The other members shall be Dean / Director (Academic / Research) and one senior academician not below the rank of Professor in the relevant discipline from outside the HEI.
iii. The decision of the PDA shall be final and binding.

13. Penalties

Penalties in the cases of plagiarism shall be imposed on students pursuing studies at the level of UG, PG, Masters, M. Phil., Ph.D. and faculty &staff of the HEI only after academic misconduct on the part of the offender has been established without doubt, n’hen all avenues of appeal have been exhausted and individual in question has been provided enough opportunity to defend himself or herself in a fair or transparent manner. While developing policy document, the HEI may consider penalties in the cases of plagiarism. It shall be ensured by the competent authority in the HEI that the degree of penalty served is commensurate with the degree of seriousness of offence and misconduct established. Since act of plagiarism, witting or unwitting, is potentially detrimental to the academic credibility and social reputation of the individual concerned, all proceedings of investigations and imposition of penalties shall bc conducted in camera so as to prevent encrustation of stigma and slur upon individual concerned:

(a) Penalties for Students

Plagiarism Disciplinary Authority (PDA) of the HEI, based on recommendations of the Academic Misconduct Panel (AMP), shall impose penalty considering the severity of the Plagiarism.

i. Level 1: Similarities above 10% to 40% – Such student shall not be given any mark and/or credit for the plagiarized script and shall be asked to submit a revised script within a stipulated time period not exceeding 6 months.
ii. Level 2: Similarities above 40% to 60% – Such student shall not be given any mark and/or credit for the plagiarized script and shall be asked to submit a revised script after a time period of one year but not exceeding eighteen months.
iii. Level 3: Similarities above 6o% -Such student shall not be given any mark and/or credit for the plagiarized script and his/her registration for that course to be cancelled.

Note 1: Penalty on repeated plagiarism– Such student shall be punished for the plagiarism of one level higher than the previous level committed by him/her. In case where plagiarism of highest level is committed then the punishment for the same shall be operative.

Note 2: Penalty in case where the degree/credit has already been obtained – If plagiarism is proved on a date later than the date of award of degree or credit as the case may.be then his/her degree or credit shall be put in abeyance for a period decided by the AMP and PDA.

(b) Penalties for faculty, staff, researcher of HEI

(i) Level 1: Similarities above 10% to 40% – Shall be asked to withdraw manuscript submitted for publication and shall not be allow-ed to publish any work for a minimum period of one year.
(ii) Level 2: Similarities above 40% to 60% – shall be asked to withdraw manuscript submitted for publication and shall not be allowed to publish any work for a minimum period of two years and shall be denied a right to one annual increment and shall not be allowed to be a supervisor to any UG, PG, Master’s, M’Phil., Ph.D’ student/scholar for a period of two years.
(iii) Level 3: Similarities above 60% – shall be asked to withdraw manuscript submitted for publication and shall not be allowed to publish any work for a minimum period of three years and shall be denied a right to two successive annual increments and shall not be allowed to be a supervisor to any UG, PG, Master’s, M.Phil., Ph.D.
student/scholar for a period of three years.

Note 1: Enhanced penalty on repeated plagiarism – shall be punished for the plagiarism of one level higher than the lower level committed by him/her. In case where plagiarism of highest level is committed then the punishment for the same shall be operative. In case level 3 offence is repeated then the concerned person shall be dismissed.

Note 2: Penalty in case where the benefit or credit has already been obtained – If plagiarism is proved on a date later than the date of benefit or credit obtained as the case may be then his/her benefit or credit shall be put in abeyance for a period decided by the AMP and PDA on recommendation of the AMP.

Note 3: If there is any complaint of plagiarism against the Head of an HEI, a suitable action, in line with these regulations, will be taken by the Competent Authority/Governing Board/Governing Council as the title may be.

Reference: http://www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/8864815_UGC-Public-Notice-on-Draft-UGC-Regulations,-2017.pdf

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