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Punjab University protects its cheating teachers

ISLAMABAD, June 7(Dawn): The row between Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Punjab University (PU) over the plagiarism issue does not seem to be coming to its logical end, as both parties are sticking to their stated positions.

The HEC is of the view that the Punjab University teachers, who were found involved in cheating research work done by others, should be removed from service, whereas the varsity has recommended only minor punishments for them.

The Punjab university registrar had reportedly argued that it was very much the varsity's internal matter and the HEC had nothing to do with it in this regard. On the other hand, the commission, led by Dr Attaur Rehman, said it was not a matter of Punjab university teachers alone. It will set a precedent for young researchers, it added.

Unfortunately in the recent past, the country's higher education institutions are witnessing an alarming increase in cases of plagiarism, which forced the HEC to set up a separate cell to detect cheating in research work.

As a result the HEC had stopped all kinds of funding to the university and had categorically stated that until it terminated the services of guilty teachers, its financial support would remain suspended.

The HEC had also sought Punjab Governor Lt-Gen (retired) Khalid Maqbool's intervention in his capacity as the university's chancellor to take action against the varsity's faculty involved in plagiarism. However, according to reliable sources in the commission, until now, there has been no development in this regard and the PU's syndicate continuously insisted that there is no need to remove these teachers from service. However, they said, the chancellor had asked the PU to review its decision.

The university's syndicate had contested that since there was no prescribed punishment for the crime, the guilty teachers could only be given mild punishments.

The syndicate had stripped Centre for Higher Energy Physics (CHEP) Director Prof Fazal-i-Aleem of its directorship and issued warning to lecturers Maqsood Ahmad, Rasheed Ahmad, Sohail Afzal Tahir and Alam Saeed of the same centre. Prof Aleem's tenure as CHEP director had already ended in October last year, but he was asked to carry on until further orders.

Interestingly, the PU's own investigative committee had confirmed that these teachers had copied research work done by others for benefits like increments and promotions.

Afterwards, the HEC's three-member ethics committee, which was specially constituted to make recommendations on the issue, unanimously endorsed that teachers who had committed the crime should be removed from service. The committee was led by Dr Qasim Jan, vice-chancellor, Quaid-i-Azam University.

Your Comments
"With all respect, I must say that if such Teachers are doing so what others think about students. i must request to teachers that Please be fair to your profession because your such deeds built bad image on inteeligent students and they have to face very difficulties in developing their career because in Whole of the world such news sell like hot cakes and they would develop a bad image of it. Sincerely Bilal hassan."
Name: Bilal Hassan
City, Country: Lahore, Pakistan
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