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HomeIndiaEducationUGC’s undergrad programme draft plagiarised from US universities, alleges DU teachers’ body

UGC’s undergrad programme draft plagiarised from US universities, alleges DU teachers’ body

UGC Chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar clarified that content uploaded on the website was not the final version but a draft and said credit would be given where due.

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New Delhi: The University Grants Commission’s draft guidelines on the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP), which were released last month, have come under the plagiarism scanner, with a teachers’ group claiming that some sections were lifted from documents of American universities. 

The Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), a teachers’ body at Delhi University, has accused the Commission of copying portions verbatim from official documents of the University of Michigan and University of Arizona. The DTF has prepared a detailed document comparing parts of the UGC draft guidelines with the curriculum documents of the two US universities.

Jawaharlal Nehru University faculty member Ayesha Kidwai also shared details from the document on Facebook.

Responding to the allegations, UGC Chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar told ThePrint that the matter has been referred to the drafting committee and that the current content on the website was not final. He said credits would be given where they were due.

“UGC received the feedback about FYUP guidelines on Monday evening. It passed on this feedback to the drafting committee of FYUP. This committee consists of academicians from across the country. The committee is looking into it and will soon provide their response. The draft is a work in progress, no credits/acknowledgements have been mentioned yet, though they are available with the committee. The final version of the FYUP will have due credits/acknowledgements. What is posted on the UGC website is a draft version of the FYUP guidelines and it will be finalised after taking into account feedback from stakeholders,” Kumar said. 

The draft guidelines are a roadmap for universities to adopt the new four-year undergraduate program. It includes guiding institutions on how to transfer credits and give multiple entry and exit options to students among other things. 

According to claims made by the teachers’ body, a portion of the UGC draft curriculum reads: “Interdisciplinary courses will equip students with the capabilities to identify connections between areas of knowledge and the method of inquiry. The main thrust of interdisciplinary courses will be to promote critical thinking, team-based intellectual activities, and the analytic skills that characterise different disciplinary areas of study.” 

A similar portion from University of Michigan reads: “Interdisciplinary work is primarily concerned with crossings and connections between areas of knowledge, inquiry, and method. ID courses emphasize critical thinking, team-based intellectual work, and the analytic skills characteristic of each discipline.” 

According to the DTF, at least six portions of the draft have been plagiarised. The document also gives hyperlinks to the original work.

“It is indeed shocking that the UGC Draft Curriculum Framework and Credit System for the Four-Year stacks plagiarised phrases and sentences as motivation for different kinds of courses to be offered under FYUGP (four year undergraduate program),” the DTF letter signed by Delhi University professors Nandita Narain and Abha Dev Habib read. 

“Borrowed ideas, divorced from the ground realities and real needs of our education system, cannot result in the reforms that will be an improvement on our present system. The draft UGC document does not make any reference to the sources used to draw the framework. They do not share reasons for borrowing the framework from these Universities,” it added. 

(Edited by Monami Gogoi)

Also read: ‘Want Delhi University to be more inclusive’: V-C pushes for entrance exams instead of cut-offs


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