Posts Tagged ‘Higher Education Commission of Pakistan’

Karachi University decides that plagiarism is not misconduct – drops charges

May 8, 2012

It does seem that plagiarism is not considered a very serious matter at Universities in Pakistan.

Karachi University has found a novel way to drop plagiarism charges against 4 academics against whom plagiarism charges were established by an independent committee. They charged the academics with misconduct, took up the matter formally at a Syndicate meeting and then dismissed their own charges since misconduct does not apparently include plagiarism under the University Act!

Karachi University was founded in 1951 and is considered one of the top 3 universities in Pakistan.


University of Peshawar Vice Chancellor defends himself

August 30, 2011

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peshawar,  Dr Azmat Hayat Khan was found guilty of plagiarism by a three-member committee of the Higher Education Commission that was constituted to probe the matter. The Higher Education Commission had submitted its report to the Governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa who is also the Chancellor of the university.

The Vice Chancellor has now put forward his story publicly and explained the plagiarism claims are not justified:

The News

Speaking out for the first time since he was accused of plagiarism, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peshawar Prof Dr Azmat Hayat Khan Sunday rejected the allegations against him as baseless. A pressure group in the university is politicising the issue for its personal gains, he told The News in an exclusive interview.

… He said that the case was in the court and he could not comment much about it. However, I have challenged the jurisdiction of the Higher Education Commission. The letter of the HEC was written on malafide intention to the Khyber Pakhunkhwa governor in May 2011, he argued….

The Vice-Chancellor said that he had done his PhD in 1990 on the Durand Line and his thesis were challenged after 21 years, which was self-explanatory of the malafide intent behind the issue. He said that the Indian Office Library was the primary source of files for him. If you see my book you will come to know that I have quoted the original sources of information which is the same that Mst Kulwant Kaur has done. I mean both the authors have quoted original sources with different citations, he argued. In my book on several occasions I have mentioned in the footnotes that for further details see Kulwant Kaur’s book, Pak Afghan Relations. Now if I wanted to steal somebody’s work, I would not have referred to his or her book, he added.

Regarding the letters of a faculty member of the university to various quarters accusing him of giving life threats to him and his family members, Dr Azmat Hayat said he was an academician and believed in the sanctity of pen and book. ìAlso, I belong to a well-reputed family of Peshawar. People know me and my family very well. I cannot even think about such mean practices, he stated.

Read whole interview


When plagiarism is not plagiarism: University of Peshawar allows 19% plagiarism to protect plagiarising Vice Chancellor

August 26, 2011

When plagiarism is not plagiarism

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peshawar,  Dr Azmat Hayat Khan was found guilty of plagiarism by a three-member committee of the Higher Education Commission that was constituted to probe the matter. The Higher Education Commission had submitted its report to the Governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa who is also the Chancellor of the university.

For apparently political reasons, no action has so far been taken against the Vice Chancellor. Instead the University went on the attack. First they attacked the complainant, Mohammad Zubair, an assistant professor at the UoP Law College. They  suspended him and have now dismissed him and are going through a paper exercise to strip him of his law degree. Now they have attacked the Higher Education Commission for finding their beloved Vice Chancellor guilty. The defence of the Vice Chancellor is ingenious. First they have objected to the procedures followed by the Commission in not interrogating the Vice Chancellor. Since they felt this argument was probably a little weak they then redefined plagiarism so that the Vice Chancellor’s plagiarism was no longer plagiarism!!

The University has effectively created a Cheaters Charter. It has reinvented and redefined a plagiarism “threshold” of allowable copying as being 19% for scholarly articles and 25% for theses. And since – they claim – the Vice Chancellor only cheated to the extent of copying 18% of his book from others – what he did was not plagiarism!!

From being a case of the Vice Chancellor’s plagiarism this has now escalated to become a case of blatant corruption at the highest levels of the University and not excluding the Chancellor – who is of course merely taking a political position as the Governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The ethical standards of the University of Peshawar are beginning to stink.

Pakistan Today reports:

The University of Peshawar issued a clarification on a news item pertaining to plagiarism stating certain elements from a political group were involved. …. 

The HEC thus already had jumped to conclusions without inquiring into the matter which shows a partial approach and mala fide intentions. This in fact was the only inquiry in history in which the author under investigation was not called before the committee. The plagiarism policy of HEC point number eight section“E“ clearly reads that the author under investigation must be provided opportunity to justify the originality of their concepts. …..

The HEC Plagiarism policy states plagiarism cases be dealt by respective universities and the threshold is setup by the concerned University in light of the Quality Assurance guidelines of HEC. The percentage of allowed threshold decided by meeting of the Advance Studies and Research Board of University of Peshawar in light of HEC Quality Assurance guidelines, in its meeting held on 25/11/2009 was 19% allowed matching (threshold) for published research articles and 25% for thesis.
The plagiarism allegations against the Vice Chancellor were looked in HEC recommended software and the result was shown to be 18%. This is the same software which is being used all over the country and by HEC. The same document was checked manually and the matching percentage of Kulwant Kaur Book “Pak Afghan relations” to that of Dr Azmat Hayat Khan book was 17%.  …….

The press release stated the case was in court and an unbiased decision would be issued because the author would get a chance to explain his point of view and the facts of the matter. It said the University of Peshawar considered the HEC’s recommendation of a penalty and the press conference organized by them as contempt of court (against PHC decision) and will take the case to legal corners. It claims that the victimizing campaign is spear-headed by Zubair Mehsud. The press release denied Zubair was being targeted, as claimed by a newsreport, for raising his voice against the VC.
The press release said ex-Law College faculty member Zubair had been terminated for engaging in political activities against the VC’s directives and the used of defamatory language when issued show cause notice to explain his position on the matter.

But the demands on the Governor to replace the tainted Vice Chancellor are continuing to grow.

University of Peshawar turns vindictive against plagiarism complainant

August 26, 2011

An earlier post reported that the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peshawar,  Dr Azmat Hayat Khan had been found guilty of plagiarism by a three-member committee of the Higher Education Commission that was constituted to probe the matter. The complainant, Mohammad Zubair, an assistant professor at the UoP Law College was suspended by the University. Now Noor Aftab at The News reports that the actions against Zubair have turned nasty and the University is trying to cancel his degree in retaliation:

A teacher who raised voice against alleged plagiarism by the Vice Chancellor of University of Peshawar now himself faces hard times , as somewhat controversial internal Fact Finding Inquiry Committee, constituted to probe authenticity of his own LLM degree, has recommended cancelling his degree. ….

….  Assistant Professor Muhammad Zubair said he approached HEC on March 10 and Governor House on March 16 this year to raise issue of plagiarism by the University of Peshawar vice chancellor. “The university administration got infuriated over it and an inquiry was launched on March 17 and I was suspended on March 20 to mute my voice against illegal act of the University of Peshawar vice chancellor”, he said.

Some small hope for Zubair lies in that the Civil Society has started a movement against the plagiarism of the Vice Chancellor Dr Azmat Hayat Khan, reports Pakistan Today.

After the alleged involvement of University of Peshawar (UoP) Vice Chancellor Azmat Hayat Khan in plagiarism, the Joint Action Committee of Civil Society against Plagiarism on Thursday announced to launch ‘Save Peshawar University’ movement to stop any such future incidents. Idrees Kamal, Dr Syed Alam Mehsood and office bearers of other civil societies told a press conference that plagiarism was not only an academic dishonesty but it also challenged the moral norms of the society. …

The committee said that ‘zero tolerance for plagiarism’ was the slogan often raised on various literary platforms. The Supreme Court chief justice termed literary plagiarism as a legally punishable crime, it added. 
Idrees Kamal and Dr Syed Alam Mehsood expressed their disapproval of the relevant authorities’ negligence in the matter. “Azmat Hayat (Khan) is still enjoying the office and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor is a silent spectator”, they said, adding that if the vice chancellor was allowed to continue as head of UoP it would be a disgrace and the university might get blacklisted internationally.

But I am very pessimistic about  Zubair’s prospects. He is fighting a losing battle against a powerful establishment and he will likely have his law degree cancelled. Whether civil society in Pakistan can or will mobilise itself sufficiently to make any difference, either in protecting him or in having any sanctions levied against the plagiarising Vice Chancellor, is is very doubtful. Zubair does seem to have some support in society and at least in one newspaper but the blogosphere is probably not sufficiently developed or influential in Pakistan to have much impact.

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