Kalasalingam University takes action against misconduct: head of department and 6 PhD students sacked

The Sangiliyandi Gurunathan and Kalasalingam University story was covered by earlier posts here and here.

I have today received replies from the University and from the Society of Scientific Values reporting on the actions already taken. The head of Department – Sangiliyandi Gurunathan – had been instructed to and has resigned. Four students registered for a PhD have had their registrations cancelled. Pending PhD registrations for two further students have also been cancelled.

This is a remarkable, speedy and very commendable response from the Vice Chancellor Dr. S Radhakrishnan. In the Indian context (and perhaps in the context of any University) the speed and decisiveness is unprecedented and it gives me hope for the future of ethical and academic standards at Indian Universities.

Press Release (pdf)  Kalasalingam release 

The replies from Dr. Radhakrishnan, Vice Chancellor and from Prof. Chopra of the Society of Scientific Values to the mail I had sent to Chopra (copied to Radhakrishnan) follow:

date Sun, Aug 7, 2011 at 8:13 AM
subject Re: Action taken by Kalasalingam University

Dear Sir, 
Please refer the attached pdf file  regarding the action taken against Dr. G. Sangliyandi and the research scholars who are found to be involved in scientific misconduct (Image manipulation and the potential of scientific fraud) 
Thanking you for bringing this issue to our notice immediately. 

With Regards 
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
Vice-Chancellor
Kalasalingam University
Krishnankoil – 626 126
Tamilnadu INDIA 

From SSV copied to me

Dear Prof Radhakrishnan:

On behalf of the Society for Scientific Values (SSV), I wish to thank you and congratulate you  on taking a right and an exemplary decision on unethical  practices by your colleague and students. We will post this news on our website as also in our next News&Views.  Very rarely do VCs take such strong and correct action as you have done.
SSV will be very happy to join hands with your faculty colleagues to organise  one day  seminar on Ethical Values for S&T at your University at a mutually convenient date. Please do let me know.
Best wishes
Prof (Dr) K. L. Chopra (Padamshri)
FNA, FASc, FNASc, FNAE, D.Sc.(hc)
(Former Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur)
President, Society for Scientific Values

date Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 9:32 PM
subject Wholesale retractions of papers at Kalasalingam University

Dear Professor Chopra,

You will be aware of the wholesale findings of image manipulation in at least 8 papers from the Biotechnology Department of Kalasalingam University. Sangiliyandi Gurunathan is the primary investigator on these papers and the list of retracted papers which bear his name is now getting very long.

There seem to be two issues here: 
  1. the widespread manipulation of images and plagiarism by doctoral  students, and
  2. the lack of leadership and supervision which seems to encourage such   scientific misconduct. 
I draw your attention to:
Retraction Watch – Angiogenesis retracts two papers, cites image manipulation in eight, as PI blames unethical students
ktwop blog – At least 8 more papers from biotechnology department at Kalasalingam University manipulated as 2 are retracted.
I would hope that the Society for Scientific Values could conduct an investigation because something is seriously amiss at this university.
I have also copied this to Dr. S Radhakrisnan, Vice Chancellor since I have corresponded with him earlier (February 2011) about the earlier retraction of Sangiliyandi Gurunathan’s paper. 
best regards
(ktwop)

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6 Responses to “Kalasalingam University takes action against misconduct: head of department and 6 PhD students sacked”

  1. Biotechnology Advances retracts 3 papers from India for plagiarism « The k2p blog Says:

    […] Update 3: 7th August 2011 Kalasalingam University sacks Sangiliyandi Gurunathan […]

  2. India’s Kalasalingam University swiftly fires professor, kicks out six students after data manipulation scandal « Retraction Watch Says:

    […] Krishna Pillai of the K2P blog reports, Sangiliyandi Gurunathan, head of Kalasalingam’s biotechnology department, was asked to […]

  3. dk Says:

    I was amazed by the University’s quick response.
    To see how the manupulations were done:
    http://blog.m3.com/Retraction/20110728/Sangiliyandi_Gurunathan_6
    http://blog.m3.com/Retraction/20110728/Sangiliyandi_Gurunathan_5
    http://blog.m3.com/Retraction/20110728/Sangiliyandi_Gurunathan_4
    http://blog.m3.com/Retraction/20110728/Sangiliyandi_Gurunathan_3

  4. Sangiliyandi Gurunathan on his way to another private University in South India « The k2p blog Says:

    […] University recently took strong action against a Professor and 6 PhD students for scientific misconduct which included data manipulation […]

  5. Another case of misconduct at a private Indian college: Plagiarism at Nagpur College of Engineering « The k2p blog Says:

    […] Related: Previous posts about private Indian Universities Kalasalingam University takes action against misconduct  […]

  6. Tamil News Says:

    Tamil News…

    […]Kalasalingam University takes action against misconduct: head of department and 6 PhD students sacked « The k2p blog[…]…

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