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Plagiarism becoming popular among students

Students following in teachers' footsteps?: Plagiarism becoming popular among students: teachers
Lahore, June 30, 2008: Plagiarism is becoming popular among students, as they prefer copying research work of others from the Internet to prepare their thesis and research papers, teachers from various institutes said on Saturday.

Students said they had little time to prepare their assignments due to the tough schedule of the semester system followed in most institutes, and the Internet remained the only option to complete their work early. They also blamed their teachers for not guiding them about the preparation of research work. Since teachers do not help students prepare their thesis, the students are least interested in putting their own efforts in research work, they added. The students also said that the trend of copying information from the Internet had become common practice.

Higher Education Commission (HEC) Quality Insurance Adviser Dr Riaz Qurreshi said the HEC, suspecting a student of plagiarism, could reject his or her degree.

The teachers said students did not have the passion to advance their knowledge and only studied to pass examinations. The teachers said they had stern rules to deal with plagiarists and they did not spare anyone who was involved in it.

Students: A Government College University (GCU) student, Adeel, said: "The GCU students of bachelor classes are overburdened, since they have very little time to prepare their assignments. Due to the extra burden and shortage of time, the students prefer to copy research work from the Internet. This mostly happens when they have to prepare something in one or two days."

Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) student Sadia said the students had little time to prepare their research work, therefore they copied data from the Internet. Besides this, students were least interested in research work because of their teachers' ignorance about the subject, she added.

Punjab University student Imran Nazim said, "Around 90 percent of the PU students copy from the Internet while preparing their research work." He said the teachers were responsible for this, since they did not guide their students on how to prepare research work. It was the duty of research supervisors to guide students and keep an eye on them while they (students) prepared research work, he added.

Teachers: Beaconhouse National University (BNU) Communication Adviser Arfa Sarfraz said her institute had failed several students on the charges of copying data from the Internet. "We have also held some students' result, suspecting them of plagiarism," she added.

She said the BNU had a software to check students' work to find out whether they were involved in plagiarism. She said teachers were not responsible for students' involvement in plagiarism. The students did not have the urge to conduct research work at their own and they chose the easiest way to copy data from the Internet, she added.

GCU Social Sciences Dean Dr Khalid Pervaiz said the GCU had rejected the research work of the students found involved in plagiarism. He said the GCU had a software to identify plagiarism.

PU Registrar Dr Naeem Ahmed said, "We consults departments' deans, supervisors, board of studies and foreign referees before assigning thesis topics and awarding degrees to PhD students." There were very little chances of plagiarism at PhD level, he added.

He said the supervisors were responsible to check students in this regard. LCWU Communication Adviser Dr Anjum Zia said the LCWU followed the HEC's policies to deal with plagiarism and had rejected several students' work on grounds of plagiarism.

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PU arranges debates on death penalty
Lahore: The Punjab University's Law Debating Society organised two-day parliamentary debates on death penalty at the Environmental Law Auditorium, said a press release issued on Sunday.

It said that PU Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Mujahid Kamran, Hall Council Chairman Prof Dr Saeed Ahmad Nagra, Dr Liquat Ali and Shazia Qureshi, the convener of the workshop, also attended the concluding session. The event was aimed at promoting the parliamentary style of debates among students.

The three government speakers (students) who proposed the motion to abolish death penalty included Affan Asad Taj from the Law College, Amina Ejaz from the Institute of Administrative Sciences, and Syed Waqar from the School of Biological Sciences. Speakers opposing the motion were Shamaoon Ahmed from the Department of Pharmacy, Bilal from the Law College and Marium Gulshan from the Institute of Business Administration.

The government members (students) said that 137 countries had abolished death penalty. They termed it "a cruel, and inhuman punishment that had no place in a modern criminal justice system", and proposed to convert capital punishment into life imprisonment. The opposition members argued that death penalty was necessary to create fear in criminals. The government members countered the argument by saying that crimes carrying death penalties had increased in Pakistan, and that the opposition's theory was flawed.

Affan Taj, the leader of the proposition, highlighted the inefficiency of the criminal judicial system in Pakistan and pointed out that many of the executions carried out were held without due process, and that trials did not meet international standards. He said that most convicts were innocent, and that capital punishment was being used as a discriminatory tool against the poor. The VC praised the Law Debating Society for organising the event and said that debating was the best method to resolve conflicts. Daily Times

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