ISB deletes tweet dissociating from Shamika Ravi amidst last year's plagiarism row; Brookings reinstates economist's 2019 piece

The International School of Business had attempted to disassociate itself from Ravi on 29 May with a tweet stating that she was 'not a permanent faculty member'.

FP Staff February 16, 2020 08:22:15 IST
ISB deletes tweet dissociating from Shamika Ravi amidst last year's plagiarism row; Brookings reinstates economist's 2019 piece

File image of Shamika Ravi. Twitter @ShamikaRavi

Editor's note: This article was originally published on 29 May last year. The article and headline are being updated to reflect developments in the story

Update: On 27 May last year, The Indian Express withdrew a piece by economist Shamika Ravi on account of the author's alleged failure to make attributions to the work of economist Karthik Muralidharan and 2018 Nobel Laureate in Economics Paul Romer. Following this, the Brookings Institute briefly took down a piece by the author titled 'Accelerating Financial Inclusion in India'. 

The piece soon reappeared on the website carrying a note that read, "This blog post and report were published with 2 sentences on page 6 that lacked proper citation of work originally printed in a report by the Government of India, as well as a sentence on page 7 that was not properly attributed to a publication from CGAP. As of June 9 2020, both have been updated to include these citations." 

The International School of Business had attempted to disassociate itself from Ravi on 29 May with a tweet stating that she was 'not a permanent faculty member'. That tweet has subsequently been deleted and the school has reportedly sought a rapprochement with Ravi: 

The original text of the article follows:

Two days after The Indian Express withdrew the piece by Ravi over allegations of plagiarism, the Indian School of Business took to Twitter to state that Ravi was not a permanent faculty at the institute, but rather an adjunct faculty who "taught in some of our programmes".

The Indian School of Business (ISB), on its Twitter handle, put out a series of tweets on Ravi, a former member of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council and non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, whose piece entitled 'A Pandemic Prescription', which appeared in the print and digital versions of the Indian Express, was withdrawn.

The ISB, noting that Ravi had publicly apologised for plagiarism, also said that the institute's management had formally written to Ravi to correct her Twitter handle signature which states her affiliation as 'Professor at ISB.' Ravi, responding to the ISB tweet, stated that she was not an adjunct faculty, but a visiting professor. She added that she was permanent faculty from 2005 to 2015 and that she had not heard from ISB management.

Ravi further retweeted an ISB tweet from 5 April, 2019, that congratulated her for being selected "Professor of the Year" for elective courses by the PGP Class of 2019.

The Brookings Institution, which in a tweet on Wednesday, said it is "looking further into this matter" and is "committed to maintaining the highest integrity in its research and takes very seriously any allegations of plagiarism by its experts" has also seemingly withdrawn a paper by Ravi. The piece entitled 'Accelerating Financial Inclusion in India' was published on 5 March, 2019. Clicking on a URL for the paper on the Brookings website takes you to a webpage which gives the 'Page Not Found' error.

ISB deletes tweet dissociating from Shamika Ravi amidst last years plagiarism row Brookings reinstates economists 2019 piece

Clicking on the paper takes you to a webpage which gives the 'Page Not Found' error.

On 27 May, the Indian Express had published an op-ed explaining the particulars of why they were withdrawing Ravi's piece originally published on 25 May. The paper explained Ravi had failed to attribute part of the cost calculations needed to minimise the spread of the pandemic to work done by economist Karthik Muralidharan, after which it agreed to add the attribution in the online version. The paper was subsequently made aware of allegations that some other parts of the same piece were similar to sections of a paper entitled ‘Roadmap to Responsibly Reopen America’, published on 23 April by Paul Romer, a professor at New York University and 2018 Nobel Laureate in Economics. The newspaper explained that its editorial team found four sections, one to three sentences each, that consisted of substantial or verbatim quotation, unacknowledged, from Romer’s piece. Ravi wrote to the newspaper again saying she had spoken to Romer in light of the allegations of plagiarism, following which the paper contacted Romer and concluded that Ravi's piece did not meet its standards of professional integrity.

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