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Governor forms two committees to probe PU plagiarism

LAHORE, Sept 26: Governor Khalid Maqbool on Tuesday constituted two committees to investigate plagiarism cases that were unearthed at the Punjab University (PU).

The government has ordered to form a committee consisting of Board of Revenue member Safdar Javed Syed, University of Health Sciences Vice Chancellor Dr MH Mubashir and PU's Prof Abdul Rauf Shakoori. The committee will investigate the plagiarism cases and submit a report to the governor.

The PU had stopped the increments of six teachers who had published their articles in international journals and had been accused of plagiarism. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) had termed the punishment soft and demanded a tougher action. The committee formed by the governor would review the decision of the PU's committee on the plagiarism.

PU Centre for Higher Energy Physics (CHEP) director Dr Fazl-e-Aleem, Rashid Ahmad, Sohail Afzal Tahir, M Aslam Saeed and Maqsood Ahmad in April 2006 were accused of plagiarism. The teachers were accused of giving no credit to their sources.

The other committee consists of UHS VC Prof Malik H Mubashir and Prof Muhammad Ashraf, chairman of the University of Agriculture's Botany Department.

The committee will review the case against PU Psychology and Applied Psychology Departments chairman Mian Aftab Ahmed, who is also accused of plagiarism. A complaint against Ahmed had been forwarded by ex PU vice chancellor but the PU had absolved him of the charges.

HEC Quality Assurance Advisor Dr Riaz Qureshi said that the HEC had written a letter to the governor that the commission was not satisfied with the PU's decision on the charges. He said HEC Chairman Attaur Rehman and HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi also had taken up the plagiarism issue with the governor.

A PU teacher, requesting anonymity, said that due to the PU's stand on plagiarism, people were questioning all Pakistani universities' educational standards. He said various countries including the US, Italy and China had asked the PU to inquire the issue. He said four international conferences scheduled to be held at the PU had been postponed because of the plagiarism issue. He said the HEC was also not willing to release its grants to the PU.

PU Registrar Dr Naeem Ahmed Khan said the PU had already forwarded Mian Aftab Ahmed's report for an investigation. Daily Times

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