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India's regulations for preventing plagiarism and promoting academic integrity in higher education

1 Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, JSS Medical College, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysuru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, K S Hegde Medical Academy, NITTE (Deemed to be University), Mangaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, JSS Medical College, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysuru, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission14-Aug-2021
Date of Decision21-Apr-2022
Date of Acceptance21-Apr-2022

Correspondence Address:
Smitha Rani,
Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, J.S.S Medical College, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Sri Shivarathreeshwara Nagar, Bannimantap, Mysuru - 570 015, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_672_21

How to cite this URL:
Rani S, Shetty SS, Sandeep S. India's regulations for preventing plagiarism and promoting academic integrity in higher education. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [Epub ahead of print] [cited 2022 Dec 7]. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/preprintarticle.asp?id=347490

Academic advancement in higher education institutions is partly at the mercy of research and academic contributions made by the concerned faculty. “Publish or Perish” has become a new dictum; hence, scientific research and publications are needed to earn one's bread and butter. When something is obligatory to be achieved, a person may resort to dishonest means to do so. The individual can beg, borrow or steal, putting one's academic integrity at stake.

Serious concerns were raised by a government-appointed committee about the quality of research in India's academic institutes. Plagiarism and manipulation of data were identified as the major threats harming the credibility of such institutions.[1]

Although there are no separate laws governing plagiarism in India, these are most often dealt with as copyright infringement falling under the purview of the Copyright Act.[2]

University Grant Commission, a statutory organization to maintain the standard of higher education in India, formulated certain regulations to uphold academic integrity. The regulation grades plagiarism into four levels based on the amount of similarity, quantified through plagiarism detection software. Facts of common knowledge/coincidental terms, up to fourteen consecutive words do not fall under the purview of plagiarism. Plagiarism of level 0, i.e., similarities up to 10%, attracts no penalty. When similarities are between 10% to 40% (Level 1 plagiarism), the students would be asked to resubmit the revised script of their thesis within a stipulated time not exceeding 6 months. If the document is academic/research publications, the authors would be asked to withdraw the manuscript. Punitive action prescribed to level 2 plagiarism (>40%–60%) is debarring the student from submission for 1 year. Level 2 plagiarism in publications will lead to the loss of one annual increment and such faculty will not be allowed to supervise research scholars for 2 years in addition to withdrawal of the said manuscript. When similarities are over 60% (level 3), such students registration for the program would be cancelled and in the case of research papers, the faculty will be denied two successive annual increments and they are denied the opportunity to guide the research scholars for 3 years. The repeated instances of plagiarism by an individual would attract a higher penalty.[3] The current regulations are not foolproof since the measuring index considered for plagiarism is similarity alone.

“Ignorantia Juris non-excusat,” ignorance about the existing laws and regulations is not bliss. It is very essential to sensitize the researchers about the responsible conduct of research, making them more vigilant in avoiding both intentional and unintentional plagiarism.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Pandey N. Plagiarism, Data Manipulation Hurting India's Research, Govt Panel Raises Alarm. The Print; 2019; News. Available from: https://theprint.in/india/education/plagiarism-data-manipulation-hurting-indias-research-govt-panel-raises-alarm/260918/. [Last accessed 05 Jun 2021].  Back to cited text no. 1
Kadam D. Academic integrity and plagiarism: The new regulations in India. Indian J Plast Surg 2018;51:109-10.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
University Grants Commission (Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Educational Institutions) Regulations, 2018. Available from: https://www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/7771545_academic-integrity-Regulation2018.pdf. [Last accessed on 2021 Jun 04].  Back to cited text no. 3


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