Software to help varsity curb plagiarism

The University of Madras will introduce a software next month for curbing plagiarism in theses submitted by Ph.D scholars, Vice-Chancellor G. Thiruvasagam said here on Friday.

The software will cost Rs 15 lakh. “Those found to have indulged in such malpractices will be blacklisted for life.”

Inaugurating an international conference on ‘Innovations in contemporary IT research’, organised by the Quaid-e-Millath Government College for Women, he lamented that the quality of research was found wanting. “The curriculum is neither research-oriented nor updated.”

While universities have been according top priority to research, colleges are not, he said. Their academic ambience was also not conducive for research. Though the University of Madras had about 100 colleges with 50,000 students in computer Science affiliated to it, there was a serious shortage of faculty.

“While UGC is insisting on SLET, NET or Ph.D. for faculty, there are only 30 Ph.D.-qualified lecturers.”

He pointed out that there were only 57 professors qualified to be guides for Ph. D. scholars in the university. “To meet this shortage, the university has decided to permit each guide to take as many as 10 scholars under their wings. Besides, guides from other parts of the country will be permitted.”

Dr. Thiruvasagam termed the view that research qualification will not make one eligible for employment a “misconception”. There were any number of scholarships available for furthering research scholars’ prospects, apart from funding from various organisations.

T.S. Sridhar, Secretary, Higher Education, said that the State government was determined to promote IT. Research was also of “paramount importance.”

Admitting that globalisation had a profound impact on Indian IT industry, he urged researchers to come out with tools to handle challenges such as climate change, sustainable energy etc. The government had launched several initiatives, including ‘smart classrooms,’ to promote IT in education, he added.

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