PU follows GCU on plagiarism penalty strategy

LAHORE, July 9: Punjab University (PU) has followed in the footsteps of Government College University (GCU) in resolving the matter of incessant plagiarism by its teachers of Centre for High Energy Physics (CHEP).

Officials said that governor Lt Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool, who is also chancellor of the varsity, had told PU to present on the plagiarism issue a few weeks ago. The official added that vice chancellor (VC) Lt Gen (r) Arshad Mahmood made the presentation to the governor, telling him that PU had planned a harsher penalty for plagiarism than the measure taken by GCU on removal of its former head of Economics Department, Dr Qais Ikram a couple of months ago. GCU had also removed his name from the tenure list of teachers, which deducted a heavy amount of his salary.

Plagiarism charges on PU's CHEP director Dr Fazl-e-Aleem and teachers Rashid Ahmad, Sohail Afzal Tahir, M Alam Saeed and Maqsood Ahmad surfaced in April 2006 and several committees were formed to investigate the matter, despite the varsity's preliminary committee's confirmation of the charges. The teachers were accused of copying an article by Prof Chris Llewellyn and publishing it in a journal called 'Science in Africa'. They did so without crediting the original author.

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) removed Prof Aleem from the commission's list of approved supervisors of research and also withheld PU's Rs 139 million grant, since it felt that PU was dealing with the charged teachers leniently and because PU's administration had delayed investigating the matter.

Earlier, PU had formed a syndicate committee headed by University Law College principal Dr Dil Muhammad Malik to probe into the matter. The committee proved the allegations on the CHEP teachers.

After meeting the governor and HEC authorities, PU decided to penalise plagiarists by withdrawing the two years worth of increments and representation of plagiarised articles.

Many PU teachers and some HEC members are dissatisfied with the action taken by PU against the plagiarists. They feel that PU has protected the plagiarists because they allege that those teachers were friends of the VC's. However, PU registrar denies these allegations. daily times

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