D. P. Dash

गहना कर्मणो गतिः (gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ) | କର୍ମର ଗତି ବଡ଼ ଗହନ ଅଟେ | complex are the ways of action (Gītā, chap. 4, ver. 17)

Professor D. P. Dash
research educator, academic editor, slow professor ...
professor.dpdash[at]gmail.com | WhatsApp +91 99378 28816

ORCID | ResearchGate | Journal of Research Practice | Research World

Monday, January 21, 2019

Research Ethics Workshop

On Sat, 19 Jan 2019, I conducted a one-day workshop on Research Ethics and Plagiarism for doctoral students at Xavier University, Bhubaneswar, India. We had four sessions, with the following aims:

Session 1. Ethical Fallacies (Aim: To enhance ethical awareness and guard against tendencies to justify unethical actions.)

Session 2. Principles of Research Ethics (Aim: To familiarise with the core ethical principles for research involving human participants and contextualise the principles in specific projects or social contexts.)

Session 3. Research Integrity (Aim: To appreciate the tenets of responsible conduct of research.)

Session 4. Recognising & Avoiding Plagiarism (Aim: To distinguish among different forms of plagiarism and adopt strategies for avoiding plagiarism.)

Useful resources on the web:
Equivalents of the word "plagiarism" in some Indian languages:
साहित्यिक चोरी
கருத்துத் திருட்டு

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Doctoral Colloquium @ Mumbai

Professor D. P. Dash at S P Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai, India, 12 Dec 2018
I was a panel speaker at the doctoral colloquium, arranged by the S P Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai, India, on 12 Dec 2018, as part of the 8th PMRE Asia Forum (PMRE stands for Principles for Responsible Management Education, a UN-supported initiative). The title of my talk was: Responding to Values Through Research Practice. Here is the gist of my talk:

Researchers work at the boundary between confusion and clarity, scarcely knowing for sure which is which. As borne out by insider accounts of research, uncertainties and ambiguities encountered in the everyday practice of research require researchers to make choices, which are guided as much by objectivity and logic as also by the subjective assessment of researchers. Typically, personal, institutional, and social values influence the choice of research topics and methods. Researchers ought to become aware of the particular values and expectations guiding their work, so that they may exercise their individual agency while contributing to larger purposes. As a human endeavour, the activity of researchers impinge upon the lives of other human beings. Naturally, certain principles of honesty, fairness, transparency, responsibility, and justice must apply to research as much as these apply to other human activities. Therefore, in addition to contributing to larger purposes, researchers need to get accustomed to the idea of responsible conduct. As the practice of research expands to ever new domains, researchers are confronted with tasks for which the craft of research was not designed originally. Yet, the tools and procedures of research, adapted and used innovatively, seem to be effective for channelling individual contributions towards locally valuable outcomes. Such innovations in research appear to be proliferating in a variety of professional fields. Appreciating how research practice may be guided, moulded, or even transformed in response to personal and social values was the main focus of this seminar.

Professor D. P. Dash at S P Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai, India, 12 Dec 2018

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Deepavali Metaphor

ନିଜ ଅହମିକା ବଳି ଗଢ଼ିଲି ସଳିତା,
ତଇଳ କରିଲି ସ୍ମୃତି ପୁରୁଣା ସାଇତା;
ଜଳିଲା ପ୍ରଦୀପଶିଖା କରି ବିକିରଣ,
ଆପଣାକୁ ଚିହ୍ନିବାର ନବୀନ କିରଣ

I made a wick of my pride,
And lamp-oil of my memories;
The flame burnt bright, shedding
A different light, to look at me.

Image Source. "Diya Lamp." Emojipedia. Retrieved from https://emojipedia.org/diya-lamp/

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Intentional Practices for Researcher Development

A recent article co-authored with two collaborators, in which we critically review our use of a variety of intentional practices for researcher development in Malaysia:

Ait Saadi, I., Collins, H. E., & Dash, D. P. (2018). Researcher development in Malaysia: A reflection-on-action. Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, 9(2), 259-273. https://doi.org/10.1108/SGPE-D-18-00013  ⏵  Free online access to 50 users: Eprint link


This paper aims to share reflections on a collaborative researcher development initiative in Malaysia – the Borneo Research Education Conference (BREC) series. Although the immediate focus is on graduate students, the intention is to trigger wider discussions of researcher development theory in the context of policy and practice in the region.

The paper takes a reflection-on-action approach, reflecting on experience and sharing the lessons learned.

Introducing researcher development programs requires careful consideration of the social, institutional and practical contexts in which it takes place. Although transformation of the field is a long-term process, this process can start with small intentional practices.

Research limitations/implications
The analyses and recommendations arising from the BREC experience are context-specific and therefore cannot be generalised. However, the paper offers guidance for other researcher development initiatives, especially in contexts where the field is not well established.

Practical implications
Deliberately designed practices, such as including a broad range of researchers and creating a safe space for active engagement in developmental activities, can have a positive impact on participant’s researcher identities, self-confidence and sense of belonging.

Social implications
Policymakers are encouraged to consider a more inclusive notion of researcher development, focussing both on the product and the process of doctoral education.

Documenting and sharing reflections of a researcher development initiative in a “developing country” context allows for the comparing and contrasting of experiences in other settings.


Malaysia, Doctorateness, Researcher development, Transformative practice, Doctoral education, Academic praxis, Conference design, Reflection on action

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Horizontal Accountability Practices

A recent contribution to a conference, in which I presented my ideas on horizontal accountability practices that may be relevant for Indian institutions of higher learning:

Dash, D. P. (2018, August). Viewing university–community linkage through the lens of accountability: Suggestions for new accountability practices. In University–community linkage (monograph released on the occasion of Odisha Vikash Conclave, 2018, pp. 3-5). Odisha State Open University, Sambalpur, India.


I argue that, in India, the prevailing mechanisms of accountability have not oriented universities towards contributing to the public good. Significant aspects of public interest remain unfulfilled in the sphere of higher education and research. As a remedy, I propose new accountability practices, which would bring institutions closer to those voices and interests which have been marginalised due to the current centralised regulatory regime. I propose the following horizontal accountability practices: (a) Public Transparency, (b) Public Interaction, (c) Transdisciplinary Competency, and (d) Watchdog Journalism. Universities ought to demonstrate critical friendship with indigenous and other communities they aim to serve.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Odia University

My first newspaper article in Odia language, published today:

Dash, D. P. (2018, August 20). ଓଡ଼ିଆ ବିଶ୍ଵବିଦ୍ୟାଳୟ: ଅସ୍ପଷ୍ଟ ଆଭିମୁଖ୍ୟ [Odia University: Nebulous mission]. Dharitri, p. 6. Retrieved from http://dharitriepaper.in/edition/755/bhubaneswar/page/6

Summary in English

The article raises several questions relating to the possible focus, role, impact, and accountability of the new Odia University, proposed to be set up in the Satyabadi region of Odisha, India. The sociocultural scenario in that region presents a picture of stagnation or even gradual decline, since India's independence from colonial rule. In that setting, can a new university bring about a positive change? Can it generate the dynamism necessary for reconstituting a healthy and vibrant community there? Universities are not only mirrors of humanity’s great heritage, they are also laboratories for testing new visions of the future. Would the Odia University be engaged in studying only the ancient history of the Odia language or would it be equally engaged with the current promises and predicaments of the language, both within and outside Odisha? What active role would the university play in the construction of a future? There are many universities in the country which are not in a position to assert the exact benefits they are producing. We hear that most Indian graduates are neither employable nor self-supporting. Let us wish that the new Odia University may sustain a sense of responsibility, integrity, and quality in every sphere of its work.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Education Quality

Delivered a seminar on "Quality Assurance in Higher Education" at the new Odisha State Open University (OSOU), on 12 Jul 2018. It was attended by a small audience of university leaders and academic managers of OSOU from two locations, Bhubaneswar and Sambalpur (via video link). We discussed the inherent difficulty of defining quality for higher education and the current trends of thinking and practice in this domain. We used the notions of "graduate attributes," "best practice / next practice," "quality culture / audit culture," and "learner-centred education" to explore the challenges of quality assurance in the open and distance learning (ODL) context. I highlighted the importance of sustaining a conversation on these topics within the institution.

Finally, I concluded that quality remains a difficult concept and we need to remain open-minded about it, acknowledging the following:
  • Education quality is a moving target
  • Many interpretations of education quality
  • It is a complex idea – contextual and multidimensional
  • Still, a systematic approach is needed
  • Success is not guaranteed
  • Besides, there may be unintended consequences
  • Therefore, quality initiatives need continuous review from a systemic angle