THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the wake of increasing instances of applicants to the post of professors in higher educational institutions adopting unfair means for consideration to the post, the academic community has demanded the University Grants Commission's (UGC) intervention to ensure fairness in the process.
The Save University Campaign Committee, a collective of activists in the higher education sector, has petitioned the UGC chairman to take strict action against those who use fraudulent means to publish papers in journals for being considered for the post of professors.
The UGC has established the Consortium for Academic and Research Ethics (CARE) for the creation and maintenance of 'Reference List of Quality Journals'. The UGC stipulates, among other academic and research requirements for a professorship, 10 research publications in UGC-CARE indexed research journals. Such a list was brought out in June 2019.
"However, many unqualified aspirants in the government and aided colleges in the state are reportedly resorting to fraudulent means for a career progression through shortcuts. Disappointingly, both the state government and the universities seem to be silent or collusive in this academic malpractice of a massive scale," the committee pointed out.
Despite repeated issuance of strict directives by the UGC, the universities in the state and the higher education department have not complied with the CARE list of June 2019. Hence any fake or plagiarised paper published in predatory journals is reckoned for promotion, the petition said.
"The UGC should ensure that only papers in the CARE-listed journals should be considered for all kinds of academic recognition with effect from June 14, 2019.
The publication made after this date in journals other than the indexed ones should not be considered by any means," the committee demanded.
Insisting on UGC/university-approved journals from 2016 to 14-06-2019 from applicants to the professor post and initiating disciplinary action against submission or approval of fake or plagiarised papers published in predatory journals are other demands of the committee.