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Updated: February 11, 2013 01:33 IST

Universities shun Shodhganga; class goes for a toss

R. Ravikanth Reddy
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Reflecting the utter lack of seriousness shown by the authorities to ensure quality research in varsities, not a single State university figures in the Shodhganga project where Ph.D theses are submitted by universities across the country to share knowledge and root out plagiarism. More than 100 universities have already joined the project

Reflecting the utter lack of seriousness shown by the authorities to ensure quality research in varsities, not a single State university figures in the Shodhganga project where Ph.D theses are submitted by universities across the country to share knowledge and root out plagiarism.

Shodhganga is a portal hosted by the Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET), an autonomous body promoted by the University Grants Commission (UGC). More than 100 universities have already joined the project, a national repository of the Electronic Theses Dissertations (ETD).

The only universities from the State that have signed MoUs with Shodhganga are the University of Hyderabad, which is a Central university, and JNTU Hyderabad, a technological university. None of the conventional universities in the State has shown the desire to join the project and improve research quality. “Universities are least bothered about quality, and top officials are more concerned about day-to-day affairs without realising that it is the research output that determines quality,” said a senior professor.

Interestingly, UGC norms issued in 2009 for award of Ph.D degrees make it mandatory for universities to submit electronic versions of theses within a month after degrees are awarded. Osmania University officials maintained that they were on the verge of signing an MoU with Shodhganga.

“The modalities are being worked out, and soon we will be part of it,” an official said.

On the disinterest shown by State varsities, AP State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) Chairman P. Jayaprakash Rao said the UGC also had to take the blame as it did not create the required awareness. Information is not passed on to Central agencies such as APSCHE, but it goes to the university directly, thus getting lost in the melee. Ph.D admissions and the output in most State universities are more in the news for controversies than accomplishments.

In some universities the number of Ph.D students is more than that of postgraduate students. Varsities like Dravidian University ‘outsourced’ Ph.D admissions, increasing the intake to more than 3,000. The method was followed by a few others, leading to controversies and legal issues.

The advantages of Shodhganga make it an interesting proposition. Universities that sign the MoU get anti-plagiarism software, which keeps students and supervisors in check. Plagiarism is reported to be rampant in universities, and supervisors let it go thanks to pressure from above. JNTUH is perhaps the only university in the State that has embedded anti-plagiarism software into its system, and copied research thesis is rejected outright, with the software effectively detecting the source of reproduction. Uploading on Shodhganga helps in Indian varsities’ research output accessed by the academic world outside and retrieval of content by research scholars for their theses.

More In: Hyderabad

" Modalities are being worked out " is bureaucratese for no action will be taken in the near future.

from:  Rekha Vinjamuri
Posted on: Feb 11, 2013 at 21:39 IST

Till now there is no anti-plagiarism software given to any university. INFLIBNET is just maintaining a database of the thesis collection of all the Universities. There is a common format, in which the universities have to submit, later these will be uploaded into dspace (termed as SHODHGANGA). Apart from University of Hyderabad and JNTU, Hyderabad, AP state Universities which have signed MOU's with INFLIBNET are: Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantpu, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Kakinada, and Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur.
The only benefit as of now is, INFLIBNET will recommend to the UGC to provide financial assistance to universities recognised under 12(B) and 2(f) Sections of the UGC Act for digitization of backlist of theses.
Implementing anti-plagiarism will still take time as it involves copyright issues.

Ex-Scientist-B
INFLIBNET

from:  B.Ramesh
Posted on: Feb 11, 2013 at 17:33 IST

Thanks to Hindu for bringing out news about the quality of Ph.D
programme. It is not only case of A.P. There are Utter violation of UGC
M.Phil/Ph.D regulation by universities across the country. Try to
compile the all the universities across the country and put it into all
editions of the Hindu

Swaminathan
Librarian

from:  swaminathan
Posted on: Feb 11, 2013 at 11:44 IST
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