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NUJS plagiarised hilariously draconian service rules, reveals software. Faculty not bothered.

NUJS Kolkata lifted most provisions of its draft service rules directly from the service rules of nine other Indian institutes, published on the institutes’ websites. The draft service rules limiting constitutional freedoms of its employees and their families, did not bother its faculty members, reported the Indian Express.

According to the results of plagiarism detection software Turnitin, a paid service on which the draft was tested by a student, 85 per cent of the draft service rules provisions were lifted directly from the service rules of nine universities, with more than half of the draft identical to that of the rules of Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute.

“As of now, this is just a draft and I am not at all bothered by it,” NUJS assistant professor Anirban Chakraborty told the Express, while head of the social sciences centre at NUJS Anupama Ghoshal told the paper: “This is just a draft. There have been discussions regarding the fact that a Draft will be made but we have yet to receive copies of this.”

Ghoshal, Chakraborty and 42 other NUJS faculty members were copied in to an email sent to NUJS’ assistant registrar academics, on 27 July 2016, from the Gmail address of NUJS faculty member Vaneeta Patnaik. The email invited “comments and suggestions in track change mode by 3rd of August 2016 by 5pm” on then WBNUJS Service Rules 2016 draft which was attached. The email also stated that it was being sent pursuant to a discussion on the subject in a faculty meeting.

Legally India emailed a request for comment to the 44 faculty members, including Ghoshal and Chakraborty, who were copied in to Patnaik’s email. Only two out of the 44 members have responded since Friday, with one of the two declining to comment. The other faculty member told us that one day after that email circulating the draft to the faculty body a new sub committee was formed to formulate a new draft. To the best of our knowledge, nothing has happened at the sub-committee stage.

Chakraborty commented to the Express: “Whether it’s the students or the faculty – in NUJS no one has ever forced anything on us. We function in a democratic atmosphere where everyone respects the other persons freedom and human rights. Our VC is an extremely eminent person and we have complete faith on him. That atmosphere of undemocratic authoritarianism does not exist in NUJS – it never has and never will. And in case someone does try and impose such undemocratic regulations, then we have enough knowledge, intelligence and reserves of strength to be able to fight it if need be. As of now, this is just a Draft and I am not at all bothered by it.”

Ghoshal also said that the university would not pass the draft without the faculty’s views or comments, according to the Express report.

In its draft WBNUJS Service Rules 2016, NUJS Kolkata has been seeking to restrict its faculty and staff from certain kinds of marriage, trade and business, association, engagement with the press and access to courts, as we first reported on 15 September, followed by an Express report on the development.

In the Express report following our scoop NUJS vice chancellor Ishwara Bhat commented: “This is just a draft. It is being discussed at various levels. It will be implemented only after thorough discussions and approval.”

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