BU withdraws PhD degree of Mylarappa's student

BU withdraws PhD degree of Mylarappa's student

Bangalore University (BU) has withdrawn the PhD degree awarded to M Venkataramanappa in 2003, after it was found that the thesis was plagiarised.

Syndicate, BU’s highest decision-making body, passed a resolution by a two-third majority at a special meeting on Monday to withdraw the PhD awarded to Vankataramanappa, Vice-Chancellor N Prabhu Dev said.  The withdrawal was not supported by six members who, the VC said, “indirectly supported copying”. Interestingly, the controversial thesis was prepared under the guidance of BU’s present Registrar (Administration) B C Mylarappa. The move is seen as a fallout of the skirmishes between Prabhu Dev and Mylarappa. 

The controversial PhD had come to light when the then BU Academic Council member, Vasudevamurthy, alleged fraud and plagiarism in the award of the doctorate. The BU Registrar (Evaluation) sent the thesis to the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) to detect plagiarism. The ISEC confirmed plagiarism and copying, the VC stated.

The then Governor appointed a committee under the retired IAS officer, K V Irniraya, to examine the ISEC report. Venkataramanappa, however, filed a writ petition before the High Court, challenging the committee’s formation. The petition was dismissed later.

Venkataramanappa moved the Division Bench against the single-judge order, but could not get a relief. Vasudevamurthy then filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the HC, seeking directions to BU to withdraw the PhD. The State government issued an order on March 29, 2011, annulling the PhD. Venkataramanappa challenged the GO before the HC but could not succeed. 

According to the VC, the BU Academic Council unanimously decided on May 9, 2012, to recommend to the Syndicate withdrawal of the PhD. Accordingly, the Syndicate withdrew the degree. It also resolved to issue a show cause notice to Venkataramanappa.

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