Anti-plagiarism software not functioning at GCU & PU

Lahore, July 17, 2008: Plagiarism detection software iThenticate provided to the Government College University (GCU) and the Punjab University (PU) in June 2007, by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has become dysfunctional without identifying a plagiarism case, PU and GCU officials said on Wednesday.

In 2006, the HEC while showing its concern about plagiarism had started a campaign against plagiarists in its affiliate universities.

In February 2008, the former governor had retired PU Centre for High Energy Physics director Dr Fazle Aleem along with four other teachers of the same department Rashid Ahmad, Sohail Afzal Tahir, M Aslam Saeed and Maqsood Ahmad for plagiarism. Similarly, GCU Economics Department head Dr Qais Aslam was removed from the university for plagiarism.

The former governor had taken the decision on the recommendations of a two-member inquiry committee. The HEC had later provided the software to 10 universities including the PU and the GCU.

GCU: GCU Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Dean Prof Dr Muhammad Khalid Pervaiz said the HEC had blocked GCU's passwords after a year.

He hoped that the HEC would unblock the passwords soon.

He said, "We used the software to check 50 research papers and 50 theses, but no plagiarism case was identified."

PU: PU Deputy Chief Librarian Haseeb Ahmad Piracha said they had installed the software in July 2007, but the HEC had blocked the passwords in March 2008, saying that the HEC officials would check plagiarism themselves.

HEC: HEC Executive Director (ED) Dr Sohail H Naqvi said it was not in his knowledge that the passwords had been blocked.

HEC Assistant Director (Quality) Hakim Ali Talpur said, "We blocked passwords for a few days, but now the software is working. I don't know why is it not functional in the GCU and the PU." Daily Times

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