The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released the Draft UGC (Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Education Institutions) Regulations, 2017 to crack down on students and faculty found plagiarising.

The commission has asked stakeholders to give their suggestions by September 30.

“The objective of the regulations is to promote academic research and deterrence from 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,” said a senior official.

Educational institutions have also been asked to form an academic misconduct panel (AMP) to investigate allegations of plagiarism and submit a report to the Plagiarism Disciplinary Authority (PDA) of the institute.

“The core work carried out by the student, faculty, staff and researcher shall be based on original ideas and shall be covered by a zero tolerance policy on plagiarism. In case plagiarism is established, then the Plagiarism Disciplinary Authority (PDA) of the HEI shall impose maximum penalty. The core work shall include abstract, summary, hypothesis, observations, results, conclusions and recommendations.”

The draft rules for students state that in non-core areas, plagiarism of up to 10% would not invite any penalty while in cases of up to 40% plagiarism, the student will not be given any marks and/or credits and will be asked to submit a revised script within a stipulated time period not exceeding six months.

In case similarities are above 6o%, no marks would be awarded and the applicant’s registration for that course will be cancelled.

In case of faculty, for similarities ranging from 0-40%, they will be asked to withdraw the manuscript and will not be allowed to publish work for at least a year.

In case there are similarities above 60% they will not be allowed to publish any work for atleast three years and be denied two successive increments.

“In case where plagiarism of highest level is committed then the punishment for the same shall be operative. In case a level 3 offence is repeated, then the person shall be dismissed,” states the draft. These regulations will be retrospective.

The draft also points out that all institutes should instruct students and staff about proper attribution, seeking permission from authors wherever necessary and acknowledgement of sources compatible with the needs and specificities of disciplines.

Institutes will also be required to conduct sensitization seminars and awareness programmes on responsible research, assignments, project work, dissertations to promote academic integrity and ethics in education.