HYDERABAD: The English and Foreign Languages University on Tuesday issued a rejoinder in response to the article “EFLU-VC, scholar accused of plagiarism” that appeared in these columns on November 14, 2017. The statement which was issued by the Public relations department of the university stated that the staff and students of the varsity condemned the article and took objection to the tone of the article that the statement described as amounting to slander.
The full statement reads as follows: “The staff and students of EFLU strongly condemn your article: “EFLU-VC, scholar accused of plagiarism” (November 14, 2017). We would like to place on record our objection to the tone of the article that says with certainty that Prof E Suresh Kumar “co-authored” the article - when a more judicious approach was called for after Prof E Suresh Kumar clarified to your reporter that the scholar, N Prathyusha, published the papers without Prof E Suresh Kumar’s consent. I hope you publish this rejoinder and take necessary action since your article amounts to slander and could acquire scandalous proportions amounting to maligning the name of a renowned University and a competent academic who has always upheld the dignity of his profession.”
In view of the objections raised by the University, New Indian Express finds it necessary to clarify that the article imputed nothing about the reputation of EFLU, nor of its ‘students and staff’ meriting a condemnation by them in collectivity. On the question of plagiarism, the versions of Prof Kumar as well as the scholar were accurately reported. Further, the statement in the article that Prof Kumar is a co-author of the publications in question is based on the fact that the papers list him as such.
An investigation of the subsequent issues of the International Journal of English Language, Literature and Translation studies, International Journal of English and Education and International Journal of English Language, Literature and Humanities in which the plagiarism is alleged to have occurred, further revealed that the publishers carried no errata stating that Prof Kumar was not the co-author of the articles. It must be added that neither the VC nor the University staff have supplied any further facts indicating that Prof Kumar took any action on the scholar N Prathyusha or the publication when he discovered that his name was wrongly listed as co-author in the papers in question.