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PU plagiarists: 125 years celebration

PU acclaimed for showing plagiarists the door
Lahore, March 11, 2008: World's renowned physicists and their organisations have commended the Punjab University (PU) chancellor's action against five plagiarists, while some experts have demanded that heavy fines be imposed on the convicts for damaging the repute of 125-year-old prestigious educational institution.

PU Chancellor and Governor Khalid Maqbool had sent on compulsory retirement five teachers of Centre for High Energy Physics (CHEP) – Prof Dr Fazl-i-Aleem, Rashid Ahmad, Sohail Afzal Tahir, M Alam Saeed and Maqsood Ahmad – for plagiarism on the recommendations of a high-level inquiry committee.

In a news release issued here on Monday, the PU stated that some of its teachers were propagating against the decision and actually challenging the powers of the chancellor.

It stated that a vast majority of scientists and educationists had welcomed the action against the plagiarists and a number of prestigious international and national organisations as well as scientists were contacting the university for educational and research collaboration in the wake of this decision.

The news release said that John Ellis of Centre European de Recherche Nucleaire (CERN), a European organisation for nuclear research, had congratulated the PU administration for taking action against the plagiarists.

John Ellis, a most respected scientist in the high energy physics, in an e-mail sent to the PU vice-chancellor had sought that how CERN and PU could develop relations.

The news release said the CERN was parting its ways from the PU after the plagiarism case surfaced and it was considering closing the doors of its research laboratories for Pakistanis. However, now the CERN physics leader wanted enhancing relationship with the PU, it added.

Former permanent faculty member and director external activities of Abdul Salam International Centre for Physics, Trieste, Italy, Dr Faheem Husain has also commended the decision of sending CHEP teachers on compulsory retirement. Dr Husain, who is now associated with LUMS School of Science and Engineering, has stated: "Congratulations on getting rid of plagiarists at CHEP. Well done!"

Prof Asghar Qadir from Centre for Advanced Mathematics and Physics, National University of Science and Technology (NUST), has also sent an e-mail saying: "Congratulations on the final action that has been taken in the plagiarism issue against five CHEP faculty members. This was important to restore credibility of the Physics and Mathematics community of the Punjab University and indeed of Pakistan. We look forward to further action from you so that PU stands as an example and role model for all other universities and research centres in Pakistan. We assure you of full support in this battle against plagiarists."

Prof Riazuddin, director-general of National Centre for Physics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, has also lauded the PU administration for the action taken against plagiarists and added that the move was very important to restore the credibility of physics teachers and students of the PU and the country.

Meanwhile, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has decided releasing PU's Rs110 million grant, which was earlier stopped after plagiarism case emerged.

HEC executive-director Dr Sohail Naqvi has lauded the PU chancellor's decision of sending five plagiarists on compulsory retirement and announced that the PU grants would be released soon.

PU's pending grant: On February 24, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi had said the HEC would release PU's pending grant of Rs 110 million. The grant had earlier been stopped by the HEC last year due to the plagiarism issue. He reaffirmed on Monday the HEC would release the grant soon. Dawn

PU celebrates 125 years
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) Centre for Excellence in Molecular Biology will organise its Bio-Forum Exhibition 2008 from March 25 to March 28 in connection with celebrating 125 years of the university.

According to a press release issued by the PU, the committee, organising the forum, met with Vice-Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran in the chair on Monday. Prof Sheikh Riazuddin, the chief organiser of the forum, said the event would provide a platform for the academia to present their inventions and innovations in the field of biotechnology. "The forum will hold discussions among the academics and industrialists," he said, adding that the event was held every two year.

Farooq Amjad Mir, member of the organising committee, said universities could generate funds on their own by organising such forums. He said a strategy for the media should be evolved to promote such productive activities. Dr Rozina Tufail said a database should be made of the PU teachers that worked with the industry.

Kamran said the forum would help promote various biotech inventions because a large number of industrialists would participate in the event. According to the release, Governor Lt Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool will inaugurate the forum on March 24 at 10am. The launching ceremony will be followed by a forensic training course and then the Bio Symposium will be held at 2pm. On March 26, the Molecular Biology Symposium will be held at 9am. On March 27, workshops on Patents and Bt Cotton (a certain variety of cotton known as Bacillus thuringiensis) and DNA for Justice will be held at 1pm and 3pm respectively. Daily Times

UVAS researcher completes PhD
Lahore: Hassan Mahmood Warriach, a research coordinator of the Pakistan-Australia Dairy Improvement Project, has completed his PhD at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS). According to a press statement issued on Monday, the PhD thesis of Hassan, the first PhD from the Department of Theriogenology/Animal Reproduction, was tilted as ěOvarian follicular dynamics during oestrous cycle, timing of ovulation, synchronisation of oestrus and fertility in Nili-Ravi buffaloes. He conducted his research under the supervision of Prof Nasim Ahmad. The News

A varsity which never went beyond groundbreakings
Okara: The shifting of the University of Education main campus from Okara to Lahore has drawn flak from the public throughout the district.

The university has a sort of unique record to its credit as six foundation stone laying ceremonies of the campus have been held since 2005 without being placed a single brick on its foundation at a proposed site on the GT Road between Okara and Renala Khurd town.

Governor Khalid Maqbool has the honour of laying the foundation stone twice, the recent being on March 7 wherein he announced that the Okara would have only the sub-campus. In a similar ceremony in December 2006, the governor had declared to shift the main campus from Lahore to Okara.

The idea of setting up the University of Education sub-campus in Okara was floated by Prof Ghulam Mustafa Habibullah, who later became its first vice-chancellor. Established on the Government Islamia High School premises, its senior headmaster Chaudhry Jamil Akhtar Javid initiated B.Ed classes on the sub-campus.

After getting political support from the then defence minister Rao Sikander Iqbal, Jamil Akhtar along with vice-chancellor Habibullah agreed to shift the main campus from Lahore to Okara.

Despite a stiff opposition by the Board of Revenue secretary, Punjab, then DCO Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam Kamboh succeeded in getting a 205 acres of land allotted to the university.

Former chief minister Pervaiz Elahi, on the pressing demand of Rao Sikander Iqbal, had allowed the transfer of the land to the university.

In January 2006, vice-chancellor Dr Habibullah laid the first foundation stone of the university at the site.

On the invitation of Rao Sikander Iqbal, then federal education minister and Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman Dr Attaur Rehman again laid the foundation stone of the university on Aug 18, 2006.

In his speech, the HEC chairman had vehemently said that the name of the University of Education, Lahore, had been changed to University of Education, Okara, while the university in Lahore would work as sub-campus.

On the same day, Rao Sikander Iqbal had also laid the foundation stone of the university students center.

In 2007, Dr Munawar Mirza became the new vice-chancellor of the university. From the day she assumed the office rumours started taking a round that she was not interested in shifting the main campus from Lahore.

In January 2008, Dr Munawar visited the proposed site of the university in Okara and yet again laid the foundation stone of the campus.

Jamil Akhtar Javid filed a complaint No 85/01/08 in the office of the Punjab ombudsman against Governor/Chancellor Khalid Maqbool and vice-chancellor Prof Dr Munawar Mirza, which will be taken up on March 19. Dawn
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