“The person who has flagged the matter has himself published a paper with a local journal of Himachal Pradesh, without any impact factor”
Instead of taking action against the alleged mischievous and deceptive elements in the varsity, the management of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU) has reportedly indulged in whataboutery.
In the latest instance, when a matter of furnishing fraudulent and misleading information in Annual Appraisal Summary Sheet by some faculty members was brought into the notice of the Vice Chancellor of SMVDU, the management condoned it and leveled charges against the person who flagged the issue.
As per the documents (available with The Typewriter), in July last year, a letter was sent to the Vice Chancellor, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, seeking action against the faculty members who have been involved in the alleged furnishing of misleading information for benefits.
“Ar Abhimanyu Sharma and Ar Navin Gupta have submitted their Annual Appraisal Summary Sheet, in which they tried to mislead the SMVDU officials by providing fraudulent information about their publications, just to get undue benefit of annual increments,” reads a letter, alleging, “The journal/conference proceeding in which their papers are published as claimed by faculty members, is not SCI/SCIE/SCOPUS Indexed.”
It stated that the faculty members have not provided any proof of its indexing in SCI/SCIE/SCOPUS, even after multiple requests. The complainant, then holding senior position stated that he could not find any evidence even after exploring the research database that papers claimed by the faculty members are published in SCI/SCIE/SCOPUS indexed journals.
“After preliminary investigation, it was found that actually the papers mentioned by them are published in a publication (ISBN 9781672358842), which is on sale as a book on amazon.com portal, but proof of its indexing in SCI/SCIE/SCOPUS was not available” reads the letter, adding “To the contrary, faculty members have mentioned ISSN No 1001-0742 for their publication in their appraisal forms.”
It stated that ISSN No 1001-0742 is actually a reputed journal, but papers of the above mentioned faulty members are not reportedly published in this journal.
“Faculty members have also certified that they have published the papers as required under rules for continuation of annual increment,” reads the letter, adding, “The faculty members have willfully provided misleading information in order to claim undue benefit.”
It was requested to initiate an enquiry into the matter and if the observations are found true, suitable action must be taken against the erring faculty members.
Meanwhile, sources in the university maintained that the University management is too lenient to such elements, which are compromising the reputation, integrity and ethics of the institution.
“The above stated faculty members have already been issued with advisories for their misbehavior,” said sources adding that they are reportedly being politically patronized, thus University management is reluctant to take action against them.
When contacted Ar. Abhimanyu Sharma (Assistant Professor) SMVDU, said that there were two more authors of the paper and he was not the first author.
“While filling the form, we mistakenly wrote one digit of ISBN number wrong due to which an issue was flagged, it was more of a typo error. We had already submitted the correct format in the office of Director,” said Abhimanyu, adding that administration has accepted their rectified form.
Ar Navin Gupta (Assistant Professor) when contacted by The Typewriter said that he alongwith other authors never claimed paper to be SCI/SCIE/SCOPUS indexed.
“It was during covid pandemic when we submitted appraisal form and there is a very subtle difference between the journal which we claimed and the journal in which the paper was actually published,” he said and added that it was duty of the director to rectify it.
Talking to The Typewriter Vice Chancellor, Ravindra Kumar Sinha said that the person who has flagged the issue is himself ‘offender’ of allegedly misguiding the University.
“I did not receive any such complaint, I will certainly act if it is brought to my knowledge. However, the person who has flagged the matter has himself published a paper with a local journal of Himachal Pradesh, without any impact factor, claiming it to have an impact factor of 3.4,” said Vice Chancellor.