HEC reduces Punjab University's budgetary grants over plagiarism
ISLAMABAD, Aug 12: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has withheld
Rs100 million from Punjab University's budgetary grants and warned of similar
steps until the university sacks five faculty members who were found involved in
The HEC has already frozen the university's development
funds, linking the release of money with the teachers' dismissal.
teachers of the Punjab University's Centre of Higher Energy Physics were
reported to have reproduced research work published by other researchers. They
included CHEP Director Prof Fazal-i-Aleem and lecturers Maqsood Ahmad, Rasheed
Ahmad, Sohail Afzal Tahir and Alam Saeed.
After an investigation
committee constituted by the university's vice-chancellor confirmed the
allegations, the university's syndicate removed Dr Aleem from his post while the
other teachers were issued mild warnings.
The allegations were also
verified by HEC's own three-member investigation committee after which the
commission demanded of the university to remove the faculty members in question.
The university refused to comply, resulting in the stoppage of the university's
HEC's chairman Dr Attaur Reham said: "We are not going to give
any relief to the Punjab University until it takes strict action against the
faculty members who were involved in the criminal activity."
whether budget cuts would adversely affect the university's research programmes,
he said: " We are very much conscious of this fact, but it has to take some
reasonable action in this regard". The HEC chairman insists the only punishment
for the plagiarists is removal from service.
To another question, he
said, at present the issue is being handled by the Governor Punjab himself as
Chancellor of the university and its being hoped the issue would be solved in
According to a press release issued on Saturday, the HEC
initiated a programme to detect instances of plagiarism by Pakistani authors.
For this purpose the commission has procured a special software known as
'Ithenticate'. "This software checks articles published from academic and
research institutions in Pakistan for plagiarism."
The software is also
being used to check for instances of plagiarism in PhD theses in local
universities, a repository of which has been created within the HEC. Moreover,
it said, the HEC will also freeze funds of universities which do not take
appropriate action against plagiarism.
Similarly, the HEC intends to
black-list and identify plagiarists on its website to curb this practice. Dawn