HEC hesitant about acting against PU Plagiarism
ISLAMABAD, April 16(Dawn): The Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Saturday
reiterated that it would punish plagiarist teachers and the university which
tolerates them but hesitated to do so in the case of Punjab University
A statement issued by the HEC after discussing the weak action
taken by the PU against three plagiarists identified in its faculty said the
Chancellor of PU, that is the Governor of Punjab, would be approached to take
suo motu action.
Members of the HEC were called to discuss a response to
the PU's complaint to the Council of Common Interest that the HEC had frozen its
funding to the university, the country's oldest, over the plagiarism
An official of the HEC said that instead of firing them the
PU Syndicate let off the plagiarists lightly.
Prof Fazal-i-Aleem was
removed as Director, Centre of High Energy Physics (CHEP) but was kept on the
faculty, and lecturers Maqsood Ahmad, Rasheed Ahmad, Sohail Afzal Tahir and Alam
Saeed were merely issued warnings.
Prof Aleem's tenure as CHEP director
had ended in October last year, but he was asked to carry on until further
In its statement, the HEC said that teachers served as a role
model to the student community, but due to lax practices followed in the past,
cheating and use of unfair means had acquired a foothold in academia. Immediate
steps should be taken to address this, it said.
"Plagiarism is the death
knell of academia. Cheating by teachers must be considered an academic crime of
the highest order that deserves the strictest punishment," the statement
The commission approved the acquisition of anti-plagiarism software
that would check publications and research reports emanating from institutions
of higher learning.
It declared zero tolerance towards plagiarism and
resolved that wherever the charge of plagiarism was proved, the university
authorities must act swiftly and take action leading to the dismissal of
students or faculty members involved.
It was also decided that a
blacklist would be created on the HEC website to provide the names and
designations as well as other information about proven cases of
Use of unethical means by a small minority of researchers
will not be allowed to tarnish the excellent work of a majority of hard working
researchers in Pakistan, it said.
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