Monday, September 04, 2006

More on plagiarism in India

Further to
the post on how my article Was Edison a Patent Troll got outsourced and plagiarized
, I noticed that a similar fate befell "Neutron Jack" Welch.

From an article by Del Jones inFloridaToday:

A July 3 column written for by former General Electric CEO Jack Welch and his wife, Suzy, was posted on the Indian Institute of Planning and Management site from New Delhi. There was no attribution to or the Welches, a photo that appeared with the column of professor Arindam Chaudhuri, a business guru and best-selling author in India who works for IIPM.

When USA Today tried to contact Chaudhuri by e-mail on July 21, the e-mail was forwarded to Naveen Chamoli, dean of IIPM's Centre for Planning and Entrepreneurship. Chamoli e-mailed back saying that Chaudhuri was traveling, inaccessible and had nothing to do with the Welch column being posted beneath his photo.

**Also from Jones**

A new twist is software used by spammers to automatically and intentionally grab original content to post on blogs and Internet sites. Authors are byproduct victims of an attempt to draw traffic to the content so that readers will click on deceiving links that take them to advertising.

It's going to take a high-profile legal case to slow it down, said Howard Kaushansky, president of Umbria, which companies hire to monitor the Internet and report back what is being said about them and competitors.

McKee's column shows how Internet plagiarism takes a winding road. It was first picked up by CRM Daily, a Web-based publisher owned by NewsFactor Network, which has a contract with a syndicate to post content.

The attribution CRM Daily gave was at the bottom and in smaller print, and McKee was not mentioned as the author. Other blogs then picked up the content from CRM Daily. Some mistakenly attributed the original work to CRM Daily, some attributed it to no one. At least four blogs attributed McKee's words to Jim Berkowitz, who writes a blog called Berkowitz said he picked up McKee's column from CRM Daily, and mistakenly gave CRM Daily credit. Then, when other bloggers lifted it from CRMMastery, they mistakenly attributed Berkowitz as the author because his blog is where they found it.

"People are incredibly sloppy," said Berkowitz, who said he publishes a lot of content that he takes from elsewhere but identifies what is not his original work by indenting it and highlighting it in yellow.

"It's like the Wild West out there," Berkowitz said.

***Separately, the Statesman of India wrote:

But the unsavoury truth about university teaching or classroom lectures is that students are encouraged to read a plethora of books on a subject rather than make them think or interpret it on their own. If scholars are equated with book-worms and independent thinking and originality of understanding are outmanoeuvred by sheepish iteration of other people’s ideas, how can true advancement of learning take place? This applies to all disciplines of learning.

The "sheepish iteration" reminds me of law school in the U.S., tho the Statesman is talking about something else.

The Statesman also wrote:

Independent thinking is so much discouraged in our class-rooms that even in the field of research next to plagiarism of thoughts, there is often plagiarism of other people’s expressions in so many dissertations submitted for research degrees in our country (I say this from my long experience as an adjudicator of a considerable number of theses of different universities in India).


Yahoo (through AFP) reports

A call centre employee has been arrested in eastern India for allegedly using the credit cards details of US customers to make online purchases. Sulagna Ray, 23, was accused of obtaining the credit card information while selling US customers a television service as part of her job, the Times of India reported Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006.


In June,2006, police in the technology hub of Bangalore arrested an employee of global banking giant HSBC for allegedly taking 230,000 pounds (333,000 euros, 418,500 dollars) from 16 bank accounts held by Britons.

In recent years, many foreign companies have switched call centre work to India to save costs but there has been growing concern about potential fraud.


Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

Of issues of fraud with data and the education of the Indian workforce, a recent U.S. law review note presents a picture somewhat different from that of the Statesman (above).


Abstract: In the past few years, there has been a substantial surge in the use of Indian vendors by U.S. businesses for the performance of business processes. These types of engagements, referred to as business process outsourcing, routinely involve the transfer of sensitive personal data between U.S. and Indian firms. Thus, these types of transfers have raised concerns over the security of such data. The United States currently regulates these data transfers by industry sector. This policy contrasts sharply with other jurisdictions such as Canada, Japan, and the European Union where more broadly defined regulations set principles for the protection of data generally.

India has been a major recipient of overseas BPO because it possesses an advantage that most other countries do not: a relatively well educated workforce. Due to the increasing sophistication of the Indian workforce, India is no longer just a source for cheap code and call centers. BPO services offer opportunities for Western companies to access the skills of Indian accountants, scientists, lawyers, and other professionals. Helping matters further is a favorable tax regime instituted by the Indian government that catalyzes BPO sector growth. n31 This confluence of advantages has helped the Indian tech sector, of which BPO is a part, to grow substantially in the past few years with revenues most recently surpassing the $ 3 billion mark. n32 McKinsey & Company recently predicted that revenues to Indian service companies would grow to $ 142 billion in 2008. n33 Further, U.S. businesses are heavily invested in India as a BPO location; General Electric (GE), for example, receives claims processing, credit evaluation, accounting, and other functions for eighty global GE branches from 12,000 employees in India. The Indian BPO sector is one of the highest employment generators for young Indian graduates and has an annual growth rate of more than 100%.

Bertram mentions healthcare and financial services, but does not mention the discussion about offshoring of drafting of patent applications to India, which may implicate EAR and ITAR.

Two of the major areas of growth in overseas BPO have been the healthcare and financial services industries. In healthcare, the use of offshore contractors has increased in recent years due to advances in information technology. The movement towards electronic medical records and processing systems has allowed healthcare providers to shift certain functions off-site if they can be performed more cost-efficiently elsewhere. This technology now allows services such as technical support, transcription, collation, billing, insurance claims' processing, and x-ray analysis to be sent overseas. There are fifteen to twenty large and midsize vendors in India that service the healthcare market in both North America and Europe, employing about 5000 professionals.

6:10 AM  

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