Only VC approved research papers, articles to be sent for publishing: MIT-WPU
Academics in the city call it invasion of academic freedom
A circular issued by the MIT World Peace University (MIT-WPU) has raised eyebrows as it has asked the staff members to ensure that the content of the research papers/articles that they are publishing 'does not sound being against the Government or any statutory organisation.'
While the circular has raised concerns amongst the faculty, Prashant Dave, Registrar, MIT-WPU has maintained that the circular only means to make sure that the papers are factually correct and backed by evidence and would not curb the freedom of expression in any way.
However, the circular has asked the writers to submit their papers to respective to the Vice-Chancellor, and only those approved by the VC must be sent for publishing.
“It is the responsibility of the writer/s to ensure that the content of the article is factually correct, it does not hurt the sentiments of the readers and it does not sound being against the Government or any statutory authorities. The content should not trigger any controversy of political, religious or social nature," the circular signed by Dave read clearly.
He said, “In no way do we want to curb the freedom of expression of our staff members. But there is no harm in making it certain whether or not the articles are factually correct right? We have no issue with the staff members or faculty writing about anything as long as they have substantial evidence to back it.”
While the papers are solely the expression of research and opinion of the writer/s, the circular further also mentioned that since the writer would be part of the organisation, the measure has been taken to avoid anybody considering it as opinion of the organisation.
Some academics from the city however, said on condition of anonymity, that fact checking has nothing to do with this decision. "This is a clear intrusion in the freedom of the academic space. The papers sent out to be presented or published will of course be fact-checked at the end of the journals which publish them. But the university cannot take over that role like a censor," one academic scholar said, adding, "And even if they want to fact-check, who will be doing that? Do they have a system is place? What will be the qualification of the fact-checker? This is simply a case of attempt at censorship."