Rote learning must be discouraged: AICTE Chairman

New Delhi: “Integrity is the pillar of excellence in academia and research”, echoed eminent leaders from higher education and research institutions, at the country’s first ‘Academic and Research Integrity Conclave 2018’, which the Capital hosted.

Speaking at the inaugural session, the Chief Guest, Prof. Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, Chairman of the All India Council for Technical Education, said, “The faculty and researchers indulging in plagiarism will be punished as per the new UGC regulations, which is a positive aspect of the change that has happened in our higher education system. In this context, today’s conclave becomes very important. It can really encourage people to understand what is plagiarism, how to avoid it and how do we use software to check it. And these are areas that our administrators, faculty members and related academic departments, need to be trained in.”

Further he emphasised on excellence to be achieved through integrity and said, “Rote learning must be discouraged, students need to become original thinkers. AICTE vouched for a change in examination system, which needs to have a vision for evaluating the outcome of education and learning.”

Additionally, AICTE Chairman backed the government’s initiative of giving autonomy to select universities and colleges based on NAAC accreditation, which according to him, will promote a culture of honesty and academic integrity among students and educationists.

Turnitin, leader in providing academic integrity solutions, globally, for over 20 years, organised this conclave, with the aim to focus and deliberate on role of integrity in higher education and research to achieve excellence.

The conclave witnessed participation of over 30 prominent academicians and researchers from leading institutions including IIT Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, IIT Kanpur, IIT Bombay, NIT Kurukshetra, Jamia Hamdard, Indian Council of Medical Research and Educational Consultants India.

While delivering his opening remarks and emphasising on the need for the conclave, Marc Daubach, CRO & SVP-Customer Success, Turnitin LLC, said, “The need of the hour in Indian education system is to create the awareness around academic integrity, policy to support for higher returns from genuine higher education and research work. The starting points require education across all levels to understand true benefit of building a culture promoting academic integrity.

Technology tools can assist in promoting academic integrity but in and of themselves are not complete solutions. The best scenario is when technology assists bigger cultural commitment at an institution. Technology might assist in discovering academic misconduct through plagiarism and authorship. But, when technology tools are weaved into holistic academic integrity solution, they have the power to help promote cultural change.”

The conclave addressed meaningful conversations about academic & research integrity in India, and its wider implications for academic & research excellence. The broad theme captured during the conclave included discussion on topics such as: challenges & opportunities of the Indian academic and research ecosystem, integrity as a pillar of excellence in academia & research, issues around academic integrity & excellence including the challenges of promoting original thinking, key pedagogical interventions required for excellence in the higher education system, best practices and technology tools to check content submissions, facilitating environments to encourage research authorship and increase India’s research output, implications & directions for administrators & policy makers.

The event also witnessed two panel discussions with prominent academic leaders from College of Engineering, Pune, IIT Bombay, FORE School of Management, Indian Council of Medical Research and Society for Scientific Values.

In India, more than 400 institutions subscribe to Turnitin’s services, including leading institutions like IISc, IITs and IIMs. Even research institutions like CSIR and ISRO are subscribing to its services to promote academic and research integrity. It has indexed over 65 billion web pages and 170 million journal articles, so far, in the country.