Technical Conferences in India – The rise of Educational Mafia

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Arranging technical conferences in govt. and private engineering colleges has become a revenue generating business in India. I was going through different conferences that are being held in India in the fields of computer science and was totally shocked at the registration fee for each of these conferences. Registration fee in the range of $200 – $500 is ridiculous for the economy like India.

Now, let’s try to understand the facts. I run a discussion community called “Technical Research papers” on Orkut and it has over 1500 members. Most of these members are students, who aren’t aware much about research and how technical papers needs to be written. After moderating the community for more than a year, one thing that was clearly evident that, majority of the students in India don’t care about research. All they want is a tag of publishing a research paper to enhance their chances for securing an admission in a university (mostly foreign universities in US/Australia/Europe). These students pick the research papers from internet and publish it claiming that it’s their own. Apparently, they don’t even realize that its plagiarism. This is where the educational mafia assists such students.

The conference organizers are well aware that majority of the Indian students are doing plagiarism and they also know that, these students desperately need a publication to their credit to get an admission in a university. This is where the ‘give-and-take’ relationship begins. Or rather, I should say, educational mafia takes over. International and National Conferences are organized by govt. and private educational institutes that accept plagiarized papers. The trick here is that, these conferences generally have inflated registration free, something of the range $200-$500. Considering Indian economy, this price is too high, however, the organizers of the conferences are well aware that, they will receive papers from students who want to publish papers at any cost.

Now, I don’t mean to say, all the conferences organized in India are of this type and all the Indian students do plagiarism. However, majority of the conference are of that type and majority of the students do plagiarism. When you question these organizers, they act like mafia. Typically, when asked for scholarship/registration fee waiver, they would simply reject the paper. In fact, there is no concept of scholarship/fee waiver in majority of the conferences. The worst thing about all this fraud is, it is being done by highly educated professors. When you meet them in person and question them, they would say “they are promoting research among students and they are being lenient so that student attends conferences and learns about research’. That’s a very lame excuse. If they want to promote research among students, they should arrange workshops for students so that they learn the art of research and publishing papers. Accepting plagiarized papers should be strictly avoided.

In India, AICTE provides funding for educational institutions to arrange conferences. Even if a particular institution fails to acquire funding from AICTE, the institution should fund the conference. However, majority of the govt. and private colleges don’t take this route. Instead, they arrange the conferences purely from the money they obtain from the registration fees from the participants. And to make things worse, they try to derive profit out of it.

I wonder, for how long this education mafia and plagiarism would continue in India. And I fear, this will deeply affect the reputation of Indian researchers…

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3 thoughts on “Technical Conferences in India – The rise of Educational Mafia

  1. The facts you presented in this article are shocking and sad. I work for a private college in Canada and we have many Indian students applying in order to study with us, so I understand the desire for Indian students to have a foreign education.

    As a side note, I am curious as to why you think that $200-$500 is too much money for these students to be paying because if they are unable to pay the registration fee, how will they be able to pay for their tuition at a foreign university/college?

    That being said, I in no way agree with the behaviour that is being practiced in regards to plagiarism. The sad part is that when a student copies someone else’s work, he may obtain a qualification, but he also robs himself of an actual education.

    The very fact that this is common practice in India is so saddening.

  2. @PCC Advantage
    Majority of the Indian students enroll in US/Canada/Europe/Australian universities for the sake of employment and in hope of settling down there. I haven’t come across a single student, who has paid the Tuition fee without working there. Of course, there is nothing wrong in working and paying the tuition fees.

    The reason I highlighted $200-$500 is very high because… average income of Indian citizens is approx. $1000 per year. $200-$500 registration fee is valid for western economies… but for Indian economy, its just too high. Also, arranging a conference in India won’t cost as much as compared to US or Europe.

  3. Sherin

    Until i read this artlcle, i was not aware of students publishing articles that are plagiarised. But I know they do it, when they submit their assignments. I lecture in Singapore in a pvt coll. We have so many students from India. when it comes to submission of coursework, most work we get are plagiarised. I dont blame them- it is our system back in India, which has failed to teach us “what is critical thinking?”. There has to be something seriously done abt the system.

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