A syndicate of plagiarists is skimming off lakhs of rupees every year from the Urdu Academy’s scheme of financial aid for publishing Urdu books in Hyderabad.

Every year the Urdu Academy provides financial aid for publishing books in the Urdu language. Under the partial monitory aid scheme, the Academy provides a grant of Rs 15,000 for books of 96-176 pages and Rs 18,000 for books of more than 177 pages.

The Academy has allocated Rs 25 lakh for this scheme. The purpose of the scheme is to encourage writers and authors of Urdu who are financially unable to publish their work. The Academy releases the aid in two instalments, on submission of the draft of the selected book and on submission of the printed book. An Expert Committee selects the books deserving of financial aid.

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It provides financial aid not only to authors, but also for compiling and editing the literary works of others.

There are complaints that people are copying the contents of rare and old books, compiling it in book format and submitting the script claiming it is their own work.

Some of them have submitted the same draft for consecutive years by changing the title page.

These content thieves do not hesitate to submit the contents of PhD and MPhil theses by scholars in universities on such famous writers as Mirza Ghalib, Munshi Premchand and Sadat Hassan Manto, which are available on the internet.

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In the past, some have even compiled the articles of various writers that were published in newspapers.

Social activist Ahmed Arshad Hussain says that the basic difficulty is that no tool has been developed so far to check plagiarism in Urdu.

He suggested strengthening the terms and conditions of the grants to check such practices. #KhabarLive