IIT Bombay professor in plagiarism row

When the Government of India (GoI) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) are leaving no stone unturned to lift the state of Indian research to the world class level, plagiarism is the last word they want to hear.

For our readers, this lesser known word means the “wrongful appropriation” and “stealing and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions” and the representation of them as one’s own original work (see Plagiarism).

It is disappointing and shameful to know that a very senior and decorated academician of this country has now been caught in this act of academic crime. Prof. Sudhir R. Ghorpade, the Institute Chair Professor at IIT Bombay has found to be key person who plagiarised some one else’s work. He is a distinguished, well-known and decorated mathematician who served as the Head of Department of the Mathematics at IIT Bombay (see his detailed honors here).

He published a paper in the year 2014 in an international journal named Finite Fields and Their Applications. The said paper contains a copied result which led to retraction of the research paper. The retraction notice clearly points out the intentional and wrongful appropriation of some other’s result even when the corresponding author (Prof. Sudhir R. Ghorpade) knew about this result which he discussed in his earlier works. This case is different from the allegation of plagiarism made against Prof. C. N. R. Rao, where the matter is resolved after a written apology (see here) and no retraction took place even after the request for withdrawal of the article by Prof. Rao.

sudhir_formalphoto-1

Generally, one or two chances are given to the author for explanation or withdrawal before any action by the Editors of the journal. This amounts to the seriousness of the case when the Editors retracted the article with the following comments:

“This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy).

The present article has been retracted at the request of Gary L. Mullen, Editor-in-Chief and Rudi Lidl, Associate Handling Editor. This article does not cite Ref. [1] [Yves Aubry, Marc Perret, A Weil theorem for singular curves, in: Arithmetic, Geometry, and Coding Theory, Luminy 1993, de Gruyter, Berlin, 1996, pp. 1–7] even though the corresponding author of the present article has previously written papers which not only cite Ref. [1] but also explain that Ref. [1] proved Lemma 2.4 of this article. This makes it especially surprising that the authors of this article now claim that their Lemma 2.4 is a new result.

The editors note that Lemma 2.4 of this article also occurs in Leep–Yeomans (1994) and Fried–Jarden (2008). Two papers by the corresponding author of this article which explain what was done in Ref. [1] are Ghorpade–Lachaud (2002a, 2002b).

Ref. [1]: Yves Aubry, Marc Perret, A Weil theorem for singular curves, in: Arithmetic, Geometry, and Coding Theory, Luminy 1993, de Gruyter, Berlin, 1996, pp. 1–7.”

The above quoted notice can be found here.

Given the current circumstances, we appeal the authority to take proportionate action against such misdeeds to maintain the strict code of conduct, research discipline and convey their strong message for quality research.

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