Karachi University plagiarism case

Legal advice being sought in plagiarism case
Karachi, Jan 28: Karachi University's vice chancellor, Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim, has said that the recently held syndicate has sought legal advice on the plagiarism case of two retired teachers for any further action and asserted that the university is not reluctant to pursue those involved in plagiarism cases.

The vice chancellor was referring to the plagiarism case of Prof Dr Saeed Arayne, former chairman of KU's chemistry department, and Prof Dr Najma Sultana, former dean of the pharmacy faculty and wife of Dr Arayne.

In a recently held syndicate meeting, the members reportedly did not take a stance on the plagiarism case of these teachers on the grounds that they both had now retired.

The syndicate, however, agreed to appoint an inquiry officer in the case of Dr Jalaluddin Ahmed Noori, the dean of Islamic studies, whose services were suspended along with Dr Arayne and Dr Sultana last year. Charges of plagiarism against these teachers have been established twice in internal and external inquiries.

The vice chancellor regretted the impression that had been created in the media that the syndicate had declined to pursue teachers who had recently retired and were involved in plagiarism cases and said this was not correct.

Regarding the case of Prof Dr Saeed Arayne and Prof Dr Najma Sultana, Dr Pirzada Qasim said: "The syndicate has sought legal advice on the matter. So, it is not correct to report that the syndicate had declined to take action."

When asked what disciplinary action could be taken against a retired teacher, under the university code, charged with severe misconduct while in service, he said, he didn't know.

Rejecting the impression that the plagiarism proceedings were being delayed, Dr Pirzada Qasim said that no meeting of the syndicate was called in November and December because of a routine break.

Regarding the Higher Education Commission's (HEC) laws on the matter, Dr Syed Mehmood Raza, who has recently taken over the charge of HEC's quality assurance department, said: "Let's leave aside the HEC's regulations on the issue. The rules of ethics, morality and academic sincerity should be upheld in all cases. A theft is a theft and should not go unpunished in any form."

"Because such actions gravely damage the country's reputation and are a source of disrepute for the institution where many honest and hardworking researchers might be working."

When asked about any disciplinary action against such teachers, he said that the least a university could do was to cancel their research assignments in which they were acting as supervisors.

"If they continue to act as research supervisors, it means the future of many students is at stake. Secondly, the university must publicize the names of teachers found involved in plagiarism, so that they are not hired by other educational institutions."

It is worth noting that the HEC has recently warned nine public sector universities of action which were reportedly delaying investigations into alleged cases of plagiarism.

The list included the names of Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, Jamshoro, Bolan Medical College, Quetta, Quaid-i-Awan University of Engineering & Technology (Quest), Nawabshah, Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU), Multan, Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad, University of Peshawar, International Islamic University (IIU), Islamabad and the University of Karachi.

The HEC in its 21st meeting this month warned that no new project for the said universities would be developed while funds would also be withheld if the cases continued to be delayed.

The meeting noted that the universities were not pursuing cases according to the HEC's Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). In most cases, the universities had not constituted a plagiarism standing committee as required by the commission. According to these SOPs, the universities are required to complete a case's investigation and report to the HEC in three months.

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Quaid-i-Awam university accepts students' demand
Nawabshah: Administration of the Quaid-i-Awam University of Engineering, Science and Technology has allowed the students who had failed to pass 50 per cent papers of the first term to sit in the third term.

The students had been protesting against what they described as 'term-back policy' and boycotted classes since Jan 14. The administration had initially rejected their stand and said it had no term-back policy.

Sources in the university said that the administration held a meeting with students of 2009-batch on Tuesday, who were restrained from sitting in the third term after their failure to pass at least 50 per cent papers of the first term.

The administration argued that the promotion policy mentioned in the prospectus clearly stated that the students failing to pass at least 50 per cent papers would not be promoted to the next term.

But the students insisted the policy was never implemented and they were not informed before its implementation.The Quest Teachers Association president Prof Liaquat Ali Tunio said that he and other senior officials held talks with the students and assured them that they would be given a chance to sit in supplementary examinations and allowed to attend the third term classes.

It had been agreed that if they failed to clear papers they would be demoted, he said.

He said the demands were later approved by the vice-chancellor and expressed the hope that the students would end the boycott and classes would resume from Thursday.

He said that parents of the affected students had been asked to sign an affidavit and the students of 2010-batch would also be asked to sign an affidavit, undertaking they would help implement the university's polices mentioned in the prospectus. Dawn

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Opportunities for youth
Karachi: The youth of Pakistan is talented and intelligent but those from the middle class have not been given an opportunity to serve the nation in the present political system.

Providing an opportunity to the middle class youth that represents 98 per cent of our population to serve their area or city can lead to progress similar to Karachi, throughout Pakistan, within four years.

City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal expressed these views while addressing a reception given in his honor by Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology (KASBIT) on Wednesday.

"The country has been governed by 38 families for the last 60 years. They were made MPAs and MNAs but they did not establish even a single primary school in their jurisdiction while they sent their wards to foreign countries for education," he claimed.

He said that development was an ongoing process and added, "It must continue as any temporary halt in the journey of development can put an adverse affect on the society."

On the occasion, a documentary regarding the development works in Karachi during the last four years was also screened. KASBIT faculty members Israr Khan and Dr Muhammad Mehmood appreciated the efforts of the city Nazim. The news

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