Former VC stirs up a hornet’s nest

Former vice-chancellor of Sambalpur University Arun Pujari’s allegations of plagiarism against teachers and students of the varsity have stirred up a hornet’s nest.

Both the teachers and students are now up in arms against Pujari accusing him of doing little for the varsity’s development during his 2008-2011 stint.  As it is Pujari was accused of nepotism, financial irregularities and favouring? computer science as the VC.

In his blog, Pujari posted a write-up ‘Plagiarism and Jyotivihar’ on March 10 alleging that he came across plagiarism in PhD thesis of the varsity frequently. “All the departments suffered from the disease…Life science, mathematics and chemistry. Thesis in history department on medicinal plant was a copy of another work in life science department. I felt helpless. I had other priorities,” Pujari wrote. “I had sufficient proof for a thesis to get cancelled…a clear example of plagiarism.”

Stating that teachers were party to the crime, Pujari wrote that a professor published 10 research papers in 12 months, which is humanly impossible unless the researcher copies those.

The observations did not go down well with the Sambalpur University Teachers Association (SUTA) condemning Pujari for his remarks which they said were ‘baseless’. They also took up the matter with present Vice-Chancellor Bishnu Charan Barik and resolved not to associate Pujari with any academic activities of the varsity henceforth. Questioning why he kept silent, they said he was empowered to take steps.

The students union too flayed Pujari for his ‘wild allegations’. They accused him of promoting computer science in the varsity at the cost of humanities.

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