Education is the Noah’s ark of any nation, outside which is nothing but deluge. Every country tries to set a premium on establishing prestigious academic norms to compete with the global rat-race. Higher education matters and serves as a vigorous impetus to overall national development. It equips the budding generation with the high-tech weaponry of witticism and repertoire of up-to-date learning.
The prevailing scenario of the world endorses the foregoing. Advanced countries like Great Britain, Canada and the US have invested a lot on the dissemination of knowledge through higher studies. Almost all major universities cater to the uplift of educational standards. They exert to produce a large number of scholars seeking PhD’s and other types of higher studies in multifarious disciplines. The scholars strain every nerve to conduct their researches and thus considerably add to the existing corpora of information.
Our country however, is still lagging behind. A tiny percentage is set aside for education in the annual budget and it is insufficient to provide financial support to our scholars intending to pursue higher education in universities abroad.
As far as local universities are concerned, most of them are producing just raw material. Their pseudo lump research goes profitless. A close review of the prevailing setup brings the bitter fact to light that most research thesis/papers are merely a rephrasing of original research work. Such activity is a filthy smudge on the fair front of higher education.
The vicious practice of bogus lump research impedes the path of a nation’s growth. The intellectual dishonesty is a curse. Genuine research is being rephrased so cunningly and skilfully that plagiarism is hardly discernible. Most supervisors suspend their disbelief and take them for original attempts. These theses are bereft of generalizability, testability and predictability. This detestable blackmailing is ganging ground even in advanced countries like America and it is mostly because of non-accredited private universities mushrooming there. In our country, researchers do not feel shy in stealing or buying the material of their theses from those who have expertise in rephrasing not only the style of writing but also of the ideas. Their prime objective is nothing but amassing lucre by fair or foul means. It is not wide off the mark to mention the case of one of my friends. His thesis showed 58% plagiarism. His supervisor directed him to reduce it to 19%. Next time he brought it down to zero percentage. He was redirected to raise it a bit to avoid suspicion. He felt no problem in setting it to 7%. Thus, the content can be comfortably engineered to align plagiarism to the “required” standard.
Another form of lump research is co-authoring. Sometimes, two or three researchers co-write an article. Usually, there is only one genuine scholar. It entails an unfortunate turn of affairs when the co-writer happens to be a junior member of staff. The senior member remains at ease, doing nothing. The entire research work is done by the junior. How can a junior member take a bold step to claim his lion’s share? Then there are the ones supervising the research project or thesis of a group of students. They borrow the data of this novice research and easily chisel the material to write an article dubbing it to their own credit.
Proxy researchers brazen out readymade material from the website. They plagiarize not only the form but also the content of what they have designed to research about. It is easy for them to modify the given text to their own vested interests and get it published in their name. During the last decade, such research has surged up to engage public attention. These practices reek of intellectual dishonesty and humiliate the entire premise of higher education.
This specific malady can be remedied by stringent measures of the HEC (Higher Education Commission). Those scholars who copy the material from the genuine source and mould it to claim it as their own, deserve no pity. They must be penalized so that their punishment might serve as an eye-opener for others. At the same time, supervisors and external examiners appointed for review and the defence of theses, must be taken to task for their negligence and indifference to their assigned responsibility.
Apropos of the above mentioned, the universities have an obligation to enjoin upon their teaching faculty to make every possible effort to promote genuine research activities amongst the students.