Bagla, Pallava. "Panel Fiunds Plagiarism By University Leader," Science 299 (7 February 2003),
New Delhi - An advisory panel has found that a senior Indian university official and his graduate
physics student committed plagiarism by claiming to be the original authors of a paper nearly
identical to one published 6 years earlier by a Stanford University professor.
The case involves Balwant Singh Rajput, a particle physicist andx vice chancellor of Kumaun
University in Nainital, and his student, Suresh C. Joshi (Science, 4 October 2002, p. 33). They
were joint authors of a paper in the March 2002 issue of Euro-physics Letters that the panel
concluded showed "complete similarity not only in all mathematical equations and symbols but
also in the language used and the tone, tenor, and manner of expression of ideas."
Speaking last week after the report was issued, Rajput said, "I am ready to resign, since I have no
undue attraction or attachment to the office." But he added that he would make his case to the
university's chancellor and other authorities because "I have personally done no wrong deed."
That's not the view of the investigating committee, which was set up 2 months ago by the
governor of the state of Uttaranchal in northern India and included several prominent scientists.
"The committee is of the firm view that the disputed paper was in fact a joint venture of Joshi
and Prof. Rajput and, therefore, Prof. Rajput cannot escape liability for plagiarism," the report
declares. A decision on disciplinary action rests with the governor, who is also the titular head of
The original paper, which discussed the characteristics of black holes, was written by Renata
Kallosh and appeared in the 15 October 1996 issue of Physical Review D. "Very impressive,"
Kallosh says about the report. "Justice has prevailed." An international group of physicists,
including three Nobelists, had urged the Indian government to investigate the matter after the
allegations came to light.