IIT Thesis cheating and Satyam …

Ok, this is something that took me back by surprise. Really shocked me. All around, there is always talk about the IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) being the most premiere institute in the country. And today in the VLSI conference, it seems Prof. Vishweswaran said:

Too often, he said, candidates get pulled into industry before completing their studies and, more tellingly, too many submit a thesis stuffed with content copied from the Web, indicating a lack of commitment. “We need to get research as a matter of the heart,” he said. For that, he also called for more and better-qualified teachers to keep the momentum going and the passion alive.

Source:  eetimes

Wow. That is disparaging. Shocking from two angles — (a) Did not think the IITs could do something like this. (b) How could someone do that to research? Like the professor says, research should be from the heart. It is just wrong trying to steal ideas. Research in itself means (according to Merrian-Webster) studious inquiry or examination ; especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws

Anyway, that is just my rant, after revelation that, no one is exempt from malpractices. 

On a side-rant, what is happening to Satyam Computers is also sad. Again, going against the etymology. Satyam means truth. And it looks like what their Chairman, Ramalinga Raju has been doing until now, is ASatyam (untruth). It is said because, I hate to think of what is going to happen to the 50K employees. 

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6 Responses to IIT Thesis cheating and Satyam …

  1. In my opinion, the problem is not as simple as stated. There is nothing wrong with using the Internet for reference material. It is a simpler substitute to reading dozens of books and taking notes.

    It is not practical to expect substantial primary research at IIT level; that is to be done at subsequent academic pursuit.

    What the faculty has to do is to assess whether meaningful analysis of the secondary material is done, and the quality of the conclusions arrived at.

    Stuffing thesis with copied material, whether from the Internet or books certainly should not be allowed. Here Internet based work has an advantage. The paper can be put to simple plagiarism tests; quite a few are available on the Net.

    The companies who recruit these boys have a great responsibility. They have to mould the prepared raw material into proper form. This means meaningful on job training. What often seems to happen is that the recruits are turned into robots to perform limited programmed jobs.

    The ‘asatyam’ that happened at Satyam has nothing to do with IITs and IIMs.

  2. gcmouli says:

    I totally agree with you. I am not against research on the Internet. I am just against copying stuff. And I agree with you that, we should be stricter while dealing with plagiarism. Having done my PhD in the US, I know how strict the universities are.

    However, the main point that I was trying to get at – was the mindless bravado from the IITs (professors and students), about how great they are, and sometimes even pushing the limit in verbal aggression, against the lesser mortals who study BEs in other universities (like me). Having gone through all that with my friends (whom I met when I was in the US), reading this, just made me laugh.

  3. You may be already aware of this. Many students in the West, it seems, outsource their university assignments. It would appear that India is catering to this market. I am not sure about the quality. If the students concerned study what is fed back to them and draw up the paper that is finally submitted, there could be some benefit in this practice which could be an alternative to engaging research assistants. Otherwise it is so meaningless.

  4. jaya says:

    Abraham is right, if you look for content writing jobs in India, there are many ads for academic writing.
    It took me a while to realise that these were doing college assignments and theses for students in the US!!! so I did not apply.

  5. gcmouli says:

    Wow. I did not know that the ‘assignment-writing’ thing is so common ! I still remember, when I was in the US doing my masters, we used to burn midnight oil trying to get those assignments done (really burn midnight oil – not browsing for solutions or outsourcing !)

  6. satya says:

    the fact that no foreign university know is virtually all thesis submitted at b.tech level at iit’s are worthless research. Research at undergraduate level in foreign universities are million times more rigorous than any iit’s.

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