Karachi University plagiarism cases, substandard research
KU research standard declines as plagiarism cases pile up
Karachi, Apr 12: Lingering questions about substandard research and
slow progress in plagiarism cases at Karachi University have become a
major source of concern among senior KU teachers and Higher Education
Commission officials, it is learnt.
According to sources,
two more cases of alleged plagiarism have been forwarded to the KU for
investigations despite the fact that the university has not yet taken a
final decision about the fate of teachers against whom plagiarism
charges had been proved months ago.
The HEC made a request
for an inquiry into the two cases after it had inquired about the
credentials of a Japan-based professor. The professor was allegedly not
a PhD but acted as a PhD thesis examiner in several cases of different
departments. The university's reply to the HEC on the subject is still
in the process.
Such delays on part of the KU administration
are not confined to plagiarism cases or related inquiries, as the
university has not yet withdrawn a PhD degree in criminology that it
had awarded last year despite the fact that KU officials had accepted
that no department by the name of 'criminology' existed on the campus.
The admission by the university officials was made after a media report
published in January highlighted the fact that a 'fake criminology
department' was being run parallel to the sociology department.
Delay in plagiarism cases
Two inquiries - one conducted by university professors and the other by
two retired judges separately and independently - into plagiarism cases
against three senior university teachers were completed in October last
All these cases had been sent by the HEC for investigations over the past two years.
However, the sources said, the administration had not implemented a
two-month-old decision of the syndicate so far. The administration was
asked by the syndicate to seek an advice from the chief justice's
nominee in the syndicate in a case related to two teachers who got
retired while the case was still under investigation. The case was
related to Prof Saeed Arayne, a former chairman of chemistry
department, and Prof Najma Sultana (wife of Dr Arayne) a former dean of
the faculty of pharmacy. Their case involved an ad-hoc teacher, Zakia
Bibi, who was sacked last year on plagiarism charges.
wake of a syndicate's decision taken in January this year, though an
inquiry officer was appointed in the case of Prof Jalaluddin Ahmed
Noori, a former dean of the faculty of Islamic Studies, the case has
not been decided as yet.
Expressing dissatisfaction on the
KU's progress on plagiarism cases, HEC executive director Dr Sohail
Naqvi said, "Progress in the decision-making phase has been very slow.
Even in cases where plagiarism has been proven, no action has been
taken," he said.
In reply to a question about the powers the
HEC exercised over the institutions of higher education and how the KU
could be asked to deliver, he said the HEC was not a powerless
organisation, but before it would take any action, it wanted to ensure
that due process was followed.
"You may recall the case of
Punjab University, where action against those involved in plagiarism
was not being taken. Finally, the HEC had to cut their funding and the
officials concerned agreed to remove the plagiarists."
When asked, Dr Naqvi declined to give details of both cases which the HEC had recently forwarded to the KU for investigation.
A KU syndicate member, Dr Shakeel Farooqui, deplored the university's slow progress in plagiarism cases.
"The cases should have been decided by now. It's painful for everyone
to see the university administration taking too much time," he said.
However, Dr Shahana Urooj, the pro-vice chancellor and the dean of the
faculty of science, defended the administration, explaining that a
final decision might take time as the cases involved senior teachers.
"It's a sensitive issue. Everything has to be looked into before a final decision is taken," she said.
Oddly enough, the university has no policy on plagiarism nor has it
adopted the HEC's. It pursues such cases under charges of misconduct.
The vice-chancellor and registrar of the university were not available for comments. Irregularities at BASR
According to some senior teachers, the plagiarism cases indicate the
massive irregularities which have badly affected the working of the
Board of Advanced Studies and Research (BASR), the university's supreme
body to regulate research, over the years.
include professors supervising PhD candidates without having their own
expertise in the relevant field, award of degrees despite negative
remarks in reports by two out of three examiners, selection of 'certain
referees with consensus', non-PhDs supervising PhD students,
publication of research papers in substandard journals and allowing
teachers to act as PhD supervisors to dozens of students, which is a
violation of the university code.
Besides, BASR does not have
a consolidated, updated single document showing all amended versions of
rules as well as a new set of regulations enacted over the years. This
has made manipulations quite easy, according to the teachers who
accused BASR of overlooking plagiarism.
They were of the view that increasing political pressures and a 'compliant' administration had made the matters worse.
In 1996, Prof Dr Riazul Islam, the only Professor Emeritus Karachi
University has ever produced, got a resolution approved by BASR that
only native scholars in foreign countries would examine research
papers. This was done to discourage the practice of getting theses
examined by expatriate Pakistanis having connections in the university.
Since there does not exist a consolidated version of the BASR rules,
hardly anyone remembers them now and the chances of violations
When asked if the HEC had ever taken notice of any
teacher acting as PhD supervisors to dozens of students, Dr Naqvi said,
"Yes. We have formally taken up the issue of large numbers of PhD
students registered with some faculty members as well as lack of
adherence of the HEC's PhD quality criteria by some departments of the
"Actually it not a row between college and KU, it is more a reflection o KUs chaos and submission to mafias influences. The actual recommendation was sent in 2008 by Board of Studies (HE) of KU to VC via Dean in year 2008 and noclaer decsiion has been given yet. Each year KU authroties verbally suggest giving provisionl admission on the premise that before enrolemnt matte woudl be decided as in principal it has been approved by Faculty of Science. But due to some unknown internal issues final and clear decsion is not given and this hinders smooth enrolent. In th interst of students ANY HELP from media would be grealty appreciatied. One theory is that agents of land mafia having inluence in uni do this to limit enrolment and make a case for grabbing the precious land. A well wisher of HE studetns"
City, Country:Karachi Pakistan
"Actually it not a row between college and KU, it is more a reflection o KUs chaos and submission to mafias influences. The actual recommendation was sent in 2008 by Board of Studies (HE) of KU to VC via Dean in year 2008 and noclaer decsiion has been given yet. Each year KU authroties verbally suggest giving provisionl admission on the premise that before enrolemnt matte woudl be decided as in principal it has been approved by Faculty of Science. But due to some unknown internal issues final and clear decsion is not given and this hinders smooth enrolent. In th interst of students ANY HELP from media would be grealty appreciatied. One theory is that agents of land mafia having inluence in uni do this to limit enrolment and make a case for grabbing the precious land. A well wisher of HE students"
City, Country: KarachiPakistan
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Students suffer in KU-college row over admissions criteria
Karachi: Several students of the Ra'ana Liaquat Ali Khan
College of Home Economics might lose their academic year in the wake of
Karachi University's belated decision related to admissions'
The students having passed their higher
secondary school certificate and degree exams with at least 45 per cent
got admissions to the RLAK College of Home Economics in first and third
years of the Bachelors of Science programme, respectively. Since
January when the current academic session began, they had been
attending their classes on a regular basis.
were taken aback when the college administration in the midst of the
academic year informed them that their admissions would be cancelled
because the University of Karachi had refused to accept the enrolment
forms of those having less than 50 per cent marks in their higher
secondary school certificate and degree exams.
which is affiliated with the KU, claimed that provisional admissions in
its BS programme on 45pc marks criteria were given with the approval of
the KU's Board of Science Faculty. The board members at a meeting held
on Jan 26 had agreed that provisional admissions might be granted
according to the university's 45pc admission criteria.
Quoting a letter (dated March 5, 2010) that college principal Dr Rubina
Hakeem had written to KU Registrar Prof Rais Alvi to know the fate of
such students, sources in the college said that the letter inter alia
states that: "On approval [from the Board of Science Faculty members],
provisional admissions were given to students and an undertaking [was]
taken by students as advised by the Dean Faculty of Science [KU]. Now
at the time of enrolment due to some misunderstanding the Dean of the
Faculty of Science has stated that the rule, if approved by the
Academic Council, will be implemented from January 2011."
Later, KU Affiliation Committee's Secretary Prof M. Saleem Memon in his
letter (dated March 27, 2010) addressed to the college principal
stated: "I am sorry to say that despite a clear advice from the Dean,
Faculty of Science, you have requested to allow provisional admission
in the current academic year. This is to inform you that new
eligibility criteria for admission to BS I/III [first and third years]
will be implemented from January 2011."
College teachers were
of the opinion that if the university could implement the new criteria
for admission to BS first and third years from the next academic
session, it could also apply such rules for the students already
admitted to the college to save their academic year.
Meanwhile, the affected students and their parents requested Sindh
Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, who is also the chancellor of all public
sector universities in the province, and Sindh Senior Minister for
Education Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq to take up the matter and help save their
academic year. They said the college students could not get admission
in any other institution at this stage. Besides, they deplored that not
only the fee they had deposited at the time of their admission would go
waste but also their academic year if university officials did not
change the decision. Dawn
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Karachi: A proposal is under consideration to constitute the
Sindh Education Commission which will suggest measures for raising the
quality of education and will ensure transparency in the examination
The proposed commission will cover the education from the primary to university level.
are being held in this connection with the chief minister and with the
senior minister for education," Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad has
said. In a recent meeting with Board of Secondary Education Karachi
chairman Anzar Zaidi who called on him at the Governor's House, the
governor directed him to reorganise the examination system on modern
lines with minimum human involvement in the system. Ppi
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German C-G visits KU
Karachi: Consul-General (C-G) of Germany at Karachi, Dr Christian Brecht, visited the Institute
of Sustainable Halophyte Utilisation (ISHU), University of Karachi
(KU). Director of the Institute, Prof. Dr M Ajmal Khan briefed the C-G
on the ongoing activities and showed him around the institute. The C-G
appreciated the facilities available here for research and the work
being done including the efforts on gainful utilisation of halophytes -
plants of saline environments - to be used as animal fodder, edible
oil, medicines, bio-fuel/bio-diesel etc. Dr H-W. Koyro from
Justus-Leibig University, Giessen, Germany, visiting ISHU under a
bilateral collaboration between Pakistan and Germany was also present
on the occasion.
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FAPUASA to observe 'black day'
Karachi: The members of the Federation Of Pakistan Universities Academic Staff
Association (FAPUASA) has decided to observe 'black day' on Monday
(today) in the universities all over Pakistan in protest against the
mishandling of the professors and vice-chancellors in various
universities of the country. They will wear black bands while
conducting their classes. According to a spokesperson of FAPUASA, the
association has also expressed their concern about the kidnapping of
the Vice-Chancellor of Kohat University.
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The September Issue screened at PACC
Karachi: American documentary film maker/ author Sadia Shepherd
screened her documentary on the making of Vogue magazine titled, "The
September Issue", at the PACC (Pakistan American Culture Centre).
documentary is a winner of Excellence in Cinematography Award at the
2009 Sundance Film Festival and Audience Award at the 2009 Cinema Eye
honors. The documentary was about the influence an editor of a popular
magazine like Vogue has on the people and all the hard work involved in
getting an issue of a Fashion ready. From model photo shoots to the
selection of wardrobes and choice of models, everything is a part of a
Fashion magazine. As such, magazines are more about visuals then text.
screening of the documentary was followed by a question-and-answer
session in which a couple of questions were raised. In answer to a
question, she replied, "I don't have any plans of making a documentary
film of Pakistani fashion Industry but I would love to make one".
the process of making such a documentary, she said that as a producer
of the film she had to look at the overall production in terms of the people to be spoken to,
the locations of the shoot, and apart from that she was also involved
in the decision-making process of how the overall documentary would
Commenting, about the Pakistani Fashion Industry, she
believed that a lot had been happening in the Pakistani fashion
industry and she spent a lot of useful time with the fashion fraternity
of Pakistan in which she attended studio photo shoots, fashion weeks,
and other related activities.
A couple of student film makers
from different universities also attended the screening and they were
of the opinion that such exchange of artistes and film makers should
take place more frequently. "I think it was a very useful event for us
as student film makers because personal interaction with any film maker
is what is required as we really get to know the film making process
and even though handful, the film makers in Pakistan should also
interact with students with greater frequency", Sehrish a film making
student said. The news
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