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Decision on Karachi University plagiarism case

Karachi university told to reinstate suspended teachers
Karachi, Oct 8: Taking a decision on a case of plagiarism detected in Karachi University, Sindh Ombudsman Asad Ashraf Malik has directed the vice chancellor to immediately withdraw and cancel his orders against three teachers suspended on charges of plagiarism over four months ago.

In his decision, the ombudsman noted that the KU administration failed to act in accordance with the policy of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and punished the teachers without providing them the opportunity of a personal hearing.

The three teachers directed to be reinstated are: Dr Najma Sultana, Dr Saeed Arayne and Dr Zakia Bibi of the KU's department of chemistry.

The ombudsman also directed the KU vice chancellor to initiate action against adviser academics and other official(s) responsible for gross maladministration as they did not make the vice chancellor realise the necessity of formulating the KU's own plagiarism policy or adopting the relevant policy of the HEC within a reasonable time after it was made effective in 2007.

He asked the vice chancellor to either submit the HEC policy or the university's own policy on plagiarism, if it has been formulated in line with the HEC policy, to the syndicate for approval in its next meeting.

The university administration has been asked to submit the syndicate's decision to the ombudsman within 60 days.

The KU administration, with the approval of its syndicate, had suspended three senior professors, including Dr Jalaluddin Ahmed Noori, the former dean of faculty of Islamic studies, and relieved one ad-hoc teacher from service on charges of plagiarism over four months ago.

A judicial inquiry, which was instituted against the three senior professors, is still in progress.

Despite having an army of ad-hoc employees working as full-time and part-time teachers (around 300 according to the KU registrar), there is no mention of their status in the university code.

Upon removal, the ad-hoc teacher, Dr Zakia Bibi, approached the ombudsman, whose jurisdiction in the matter was challenged by the KU in the Sindh High Court. The SHC dismissed the KU's petition and accepted the stand of the ombudsman's office that it had the authority to hear matters related to maladministration.

During the proceedings at the ombudsman office, Dr Saeed Arayne and Dr Najma Sultan (husband and wife) were allowed to act as interveners, as they had co-authored the article alleged to have been plagiarised.The regional director ombudsman office (east), retired colonel Ghulam Mohiuddin, had investigated the case. According to his findings, the university's failure not to adopt the HEC policy on plagiarism or make its own policy is a glaring example of maladministration, which eventually led to the termination of the contract of a young teacher.

"Even if the policy on plagiarism is adopted/approved now, it cannot be applied in this case from retrospective effect as the 'review article' under reference was published in 2005 whereas the HEC policy was notified in 2007," says the decision.

The university, however, has the right to appeal to the governor within 30 days under the Establishment of the Office of Ombudsman for the Province of Sindh Act, 1991.

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"One should also ask the doctors that in what circumstance they are working in LUMHS Hospital, where hospital administration is not willing to cooperate with Consultant because of the fact that they are employees of University while the hospital is administrated by Sindh Government. Despite of a huge budget there are no medicine in wards. All burden of Hospital duties is on Postgraduate Students, while Regular Doctors are fond of joining OPD, where they arrive at 11 and leave at 1 pm. The Hospital administration is unable to provide fundamental requirements and basic equipment to run the hospital. So i think one should think before condemning consultants and Postgraduates. "
Name: Dr. Bilal Fazal
City, Country: Hyderabad

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350 primary secondary schools remain closed in Thatta
Thatta: More than 350 primary and secondary schools out of the total 3,400 in the district are not functioning since last many years, causing academic loss to students residing in nine talukas.

The PPP MPA, Humaira Alwani told this to journalists after visiting a number of schools, particularly in far-flung coastal belt along with a team of civil society members.

Criticising the declining graph of education and deteriorating standard of public schools, she said that according to the EDO, majority of teachers were reluctant to going to schools in far-flung areas and many working on 'visas' (a term used for greasing the palms of officials by teachers to remain absent from the duty but draw their salaries, regularly).

Female literacy rate was mere seven per cent in the district as they were the worst sufferers, said Humaira Alwani and added that 1500 buildings were permanent threat to the lives of students for being in dangerous condition while situation in five degree colleges was no different. She said that some 1,800 students of the Government Degree Boys College Thatta take their classes in a small auditorium as the college building was razed for erecting a new structure many months ago.

Though the total strength of lecturers here was 47 but only 12 take their classes regularly while there were no teachers for physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology and arts in this college, she said.

The Government Degree College Ghorabari was gifted by Benazir Bhutto in 1998 and it would have helped in educating the youths of four coastal talukas which include taluka Ghorabari, Keti Bandar and Mirpur Sakro. The college was handed over to the Education Department in 2000 and because of the non-approval of the SNE, it could not be made functional and the entire building was burglarised during these nine years. The robbers took away with them everything, including doors, windows and other accessories.

The MPA called upon the Sindh Chief Minister and Education Minister to take concrete measure for streamlining the education in this district.

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LUMHS doctors booked for criminal negligence
Hyderabad: Police have lodged a criminal case against four senior doctors of the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) on charges of showing criminal negligence and mishandling a woman's surgery, which led to her death.

According to Jamshoro police, the case was registered on Tuesday on a compliant lodged by Amir Ali alias Zamir Solangi.

The complainant accused Prof Dr. Aftab Qureshi, Assist Prof Dr. Riaz Raza, senior registrars Dr. Hamid and Dr. Vash Deve of death of his sister, Sadori, 35, wife of Ameer Bux Solangi, of Mehar taluka.

Solangi said that he brought his sister to the Jamshoro branch of the civil hospital on Aug 14 after she suffered a paralysis. She remained under treatment for some time and showed some improvement but later Dr. Ashok advised him to consult Prof. Dr. Aftab Qureshi of neurosurgery on Aug 27.

"I was told that an artery of my sister's brain is blocked and it could rupture at any time, therefore, she needs a surgery," Solangi said.

He claimed that he was told the surgery would cost Rs80,000-Rs100,000 if "it is done in his (Dr Qureshi's) private clinic because the civil hospital doesn't have required equipment. But he will charge only Rs40,000 for the operation at his clinic while she will remain admitted to the hospital's ward to avoid further expenses."

He agreed to have the surgery and paid the doctor Rs30,000 on Aug 28 at his clinic. "When I demanded receipt, which the receptionist was issuing to other patients at the clinic, the doctor said it will not be possible because he has not admitted her to his clinic," he said.

He said that he did not press further and claimed that before his sister's operation scheduled for Aug 31 Dr. Qureshi told him that his clinic's machine had developed some fault, therefore, he would operate upon her in the civil hospital with the assistance of Dr. Riaz Raja, Dr. Hamid Ali and Dr. Vash.

"I paid him the remaining Rs10,000 the same evening at his clinic although my sister didn't gain consciousness," he said.

She remained in coma for 12 days and whenever he asked Dr. Qureshi he would assure him that her condition would normalise soon, he said.

In the meantime he was asked to leave and return to the hospital after Eid holidays for further treatment if needed. "So I took my sister to my residence in Kotri," said Solangi, who is working under Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Youth Development Programme as stock assistant.

Sadori's condition did not improve and he brought her to Kotri taluka hospital where the doctor on duty advised him to take her to the civil hospital Hyderabad and he shifted her there accordingly, he said.

Dr. Hameed examined her in the neurology ward of the hospital and also consulted Dr. Qureshi who again examined her in the Jamshoro branch of the hospital after she was shifted there on Oct 1.

"In view of my sister's condition I had made it clear to Dr. Qureshi that if anything happened to her, I will take him to court on charges of mishandling her case," he said.

She was then was shifted to the medicine ward-6 where Dr. Samiullah Sheikh observed that she was suffering from hepatitis-C although she actually needed neurology treatment.

Her condition kept worsening and she had to be shifted to the intensive care unit. "I was called by Prof Aftab, who offered me to return double the amount I had paid him but I returned without saying anything because I had realised everything by then," Solangi said. At last, he said, Sadori died on Oct 5.

The family placed her body on the Indus Highway and blocked traffic, demanding registration of the case, which the police lodged under section 319.

On the other hand Prof. Aftab rejected Solangi's allegations and said that Sadori was diagnosed with brain atrophy and her vascular examination showed murmur at tricuspid area.

On Aug 31 she was operated upon for shunt insertion by Dr. Mohammad Hamid and Dr. Vash Deve and after Sept 6 there was no evidence of patient's stay at the hospital, he claimed.

On Sept 19, she reported with complaints of unconsciousness and accordingly admitted to neurosurgery ward. "She was then shifted to Jamshoro on Sept 26 and on Sept 30 she was diagnosed with chronic liver disease," he said.

"On Oct 5, she fell unconscious. Necessary treatment was being given to her but she suddenly collapsed and was declared expired," he said. Dawn

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