IP varsity relieves tainted dean

Faced plagiarism allegations, but VC says she is quitting on her own

Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University recently relieved the dean of education from the duties of her post. However, she will continue to be a faculty member in the School of Education.

According to vice chancellor Dilip K Bandyopadhyay, dean of education Saroj Sharma requested to be relieved in the wake of the plagiarism charges filed against her by the unrecognised teachers’ association of the varsity.

“Relieving a dean from the post is a mundane issue. It is not even a permanent post. On her request we relieved her as she was being totally disgraced by the media and other sections which levelled the charges against her. She has a grown up child,” said Bandyopadhyay.

Last year in December, the university initiated inquiry against the two deans of the university — dean of education and dean of law — in response to a complaint filed by the Indraprastha University Teachers Association (IPUTA).

“Sharma was found to have committed plagiarism in two of her published articles. She fully plagiarised an article titled “Where private and public coexist” from the Internet and published it in totality as her own article titled “Co-existence of pubic and private education system” in our university publication ‘Ufocus’, said an IPUTA member.

“We have submitted the required source and target articles to the VC. In another instance, she published an article in the ‘University News’, a publication of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), with major portions lifted from multiple sources, as per the report of the best known anti-plagiarism software, ‘Turnitin’,” added the member.

The member also said that that the association members wrote to all the higher authorities concerned requesting for an inquiry against her.

On March 15, an order by registrar stated that the dean’s term had been extended. “The VC, GGSIPU, in exercise of powers conferred upon him under statute 6(2) of Indrapras­tha Vishvidayala Act, is pleased to extend the term of Saroj Sharma as Dean of University’s School of Education till further orders,” said the order.

On May 13, another order by the registrar stated that she was being relieved of her duties.  “Consequent upon the request of Saroj Sharma, dean, University School of Education, she is hereby relieved of the charge of dean. The VC will hold the charge of dean,” stated the order.

On April 21, K L Chopra, former director of Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and the president of Society for Scientific Values (SSV) wrote to the varsity’s vice-chancellor citing the two cases of plagiarism and inaction by the varsity. “The two deans of education and law have indulged in plagiarism, as verified by SSV from the papers provided to us.  An inquiry committee was set up by the VC some four months ago and yet no report has come out on this,” the letter stated.

“Instead of acknowledging the problem and taking credible action, the VC has stated in a newspaper that plagiarism is not a crime and therefore warrants no action,” stated the letter.

It also said: “Indeed, the VC has rewarded the two deans with yet another term of appointment. SSV takes a very serious view of such an action.”

But, the VC said she’s not being relieved because of charges of plagiarism against her.

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