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Plagiarism increasing | HEC Fulbright scholarship programme

Plagiarism increasing in academic institutions
Islamabad, May 03, 2008: Increasing plagiarism in academic institutions has become a stumbling block in way of genuine research activity, crippling talent and potential of students who are supposed to act as future leaders in every field of life.

Most educational institutions require of students to carry out thesis, project and research activity right from beginning of their semesters in all disciplines and at all levels. But records of issuance of books from libraries of colleges and universities show a bleak picture as there are only a few students who acquire books for their thesis and research work.

During a survey, some students were of the view that if there was an information highway (internet) then there was no need to read books spending long hours to get information or prepare presentation and thesis.

Most of them thought it unadvisable to just rely on internet instead of studying books that might harm their real talent. But at the same time, they admitted that due to a number of reasons they were sometimes compelled to download "prepared material".

"We cannot prepare better material than that which is available on the internet. It is only a matter of getting good grades and if we do not use such material then other students may utilise it for good results," said a student studying at one of the prominent universities in Islamabad.

Some students said that it was quite helpful when all relevant material was found with the help of a search engine on the internet. "It is quite hard to find out relevant material to such extent from books because it may take a lot of time to do so. It is better to use internet instead of going through dozens of books to achieve desired material," they said.

All educationists are not against the use of internet but they condemn growing trend of plagiarism among students. The administration of colleges and universities is taking strict measures to check plagiarism and teachers keep vigil over material submitted by students.

"Decline of library culture led students use such tactics otherwise students studying in western universities, considered a hub of modernisation, do not resort to adopt such ways," said Syed Akmal Raza, a lecturer in a university. "Books have lost importance in our society and no serious efforts were made to bring back students to libraries. There was a time when the local administration in every city and town paid attention to promotion of libraries but with the passage of time book culture diminished from our society."

Adviser Quality Assurance and Learning Innovation to Higher Education Commission Dr Riaz Qureshi said a strict anti-plagiarism policy has been introduced and all universities have been directed to implement it through their respective disciplinary committees at the earliest.

"Plagiarism in any thesis, project or research work can lead to cancellation of the degree, so students must give reference if they use any material from any website," he said.

He said that every case of plagiarism was probed by respective committees of universities and HEC reviews reports of these committees before taking any action against those involved in plagiarism.

"HEC has decided not to take up cases surfaced before the date of implementation of anti-plagiarism policy. But if any such person involved in old cases of plagiarism still claims contents and material then action would be taken against him," he said. The News

60 Fulbright scholars given send-off
Islamabad: A farewell ceremony for 60 Fulbright award recipients of Batch-III was held at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat here on Friday.

Fulbright scholarship programme is a joint venture of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and HEC for master's degree and doctoral studies in different fields. So far, 372 master's and 100 PhD scholarships have been awarded under the scheme.

Referring to the importance of the opportunity, HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail Naqvi said scholars had won these awards absolutely because of their capabilities after passing through a very comprehensive and highly competitive process.

He wished them good luck in their studies in the United States.

He advised them to benefit from the vast opportunities that would be available to them, and emphasised the significance of projection of real Muslim culture and values like brotherhood, respect and tolerance.

Dr Naqvi also reminded the scholars of their great cultural, social and religious values and responsibilities to the homeland. He urged them to learn and return and put their share for the development of their nation and the motherland. APP

Kids reluctant to go to school
Rawalpindi: Electricity loadshedding in the city is hitting hard students, especially young ones, in schools as during hot day children feel suffocation in their classrooms.

Mostly children between 8 and 12 years of age don't want to attend school as they have to face unbearable heat in their classrooms during loadshedding every day.

Uzma Irfan, principal of a private school, said that power crisis is badly affecting studies of children. She said that due to a sharp increase in temperature whenever electricity goes off all children want to run out of their classrooms. If teachers force students to sit in their classes, they don't pay any attention to their lessons.

She said that many children had fainted due to long hours of loadshedding in unbearable heat of summer. Students of primary level will appear in annual examinations on May 13. They cannot do well in examinations due to electricity loadshedding, she said. The government should consider the problem of loadshedding as well as timings of examinations, she said.

Asma Zahoor, a government school teacher, said that students feel tiredness or fall asleep in their classrooms because they cannot get sound sleep at night due to power loadshedding. She said that they were taking classes in the verandah rather than classrooms during loadshedding hours to save children from suffocation.

Parents interviewed said that their children were not willing to attend classes due to loadshedding.

"I will not go to school because during loadshedding I cannotd not bear heat in classrooms as we sit in a small room having 40 students," Nadeem Ahmed, a student of class 4, said. The News

Student bodies striving to enhance membership
Islamabad: With the lifting of ban on student unions by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, a number of organisations have set up camps at the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) to woo students to join them.

A plenty of notices have been pasted on the university's main entrance and notice boards highlighting manifestos of these organisations and invitations for fresh memberships. Each notice promised to protect students' rights and interests.

The university is confronting different problems like its accreditation with the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), unavailability of transport and hostel, insufficient classrooms and unhealthy environment for education since its inception in 2002.

Imamia Students Organisation (ISO), Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT), Pukhtoon Students Federation (PSF) and Muslim Students Federation (MSF) are prominent outfits that called for protection of students' rights and fresh memberships.

Hamza Ali, an MSF worker, said that the students were actively responding to calls of different organisations which would make the main union through elections after issuance of a formal notification for restoration of unions.

Aqeel Ahmed, a student of Physics Department, has been elected president of Applied Physics Society, which is the sole platform for students of this department to exhibit their abilities.

The students belonging to Northern Areas have arranged a rich dinner for newcomers from their area so that they could feel at home in the university. Daily Times

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