The vice-chancellor of the Hyderabad University, Appa Rao Podile, has found himself in the eye of a fresh storm, following a report accusing him of having plagiarised scientific articles.
A report published in The Wire indicates that the article 'Root Colonisation and Quorum Sensing are the Driving Forces of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) for Growth Promotion' has at least six plagiarised sentences. Appa Rao is the lead as well as corresponding author of the mentioned article, which was published in 2014 in the journal, Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy. The Wire also highlights plagiarism in two more articles.
The Wire quoted Appa Rao as saying:
"If we have plagiarised others' data, we will retract the paper with regrets. If we have missed citing references of the original source for a part of the text, we will apologise for the mistakes".
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Appa Rao first drew ire over the January 2016 suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula. He was accused of abetting the suicide as he suspended Vemula - and four other students - from the university hostel. Rao took a two month leave in the wake of the row that rocked the Hyderabad Central University and was met with furious protests from students on his return.