–FAPUASA president for applying plagiarism policy to root out menace of plagiarism
ISLAMABAD: Keeping in view the recent reports pertaining to high profile cases of plagiarism, the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has formed a three-member fact finding committee to probe into the matter.
FAPUASA Central President, Dr Kaleemullah, formed the committee that comprises of three experts and faculty members.
He said that the existing plagiarism policy should be applied equally across the board and that FAPUASA would ensure its effective implementation, as well as, the monitoring of the whole situation to root out the plagiarism from the higher education sector.
“The plagiarism policy was used to victimise ordinary faculty members during the last tenure and when it comes to high profile cases including the former chairman HEC, efforts are being made to exonerate them,” lamented Dr Kaleemullah.
He demanded that a plagiarism committee should function independently, and deals with high profile cases in the same way and on the same parameters, as those of ordinary faculty members.
He also announced a review plagiarism policy in collaboration with Working Group on Higher Education Reforms (WGHER), academics and other stakeholders.
He further demanded the federal government to ensure the implementation of a joint resolution of Senate regarding 75 per cent tax rebate, extending the retirement age of university faculty to 65 years and the implementation of constitutional amendments in the higher education sector.
It is pertinent to mention here that several heavyweights are facing plagiarism charges at present including the COMSATS Institute of Technology (CIIT) Acting Rector Dr Raheel Qamar, recently retired HEC chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, incumbent HEC Executive Director (ED) Arshad Ali and Quaid-e-Azam University’s Tassawar Hayat.
The Board of Governors Chairman Dr SM Junaid constituted a four-member committee to probe the allegations of plagiarism on Dr Raheel Qamar.
Similarly, last year in December, a report regarding allegations of plagiarism on Arshad Ali had surfaced, as well. However, despite the lapse of several months, the matter is yet to be decided.
A senior official of the FAPUASA told Pakistan Today that committees tasked to investigate plagiarism allegations against the bigwigs included their subordinates who could easily be influenced.
He pointed towards the committee formed to probe allegations of plagiarism on Raheel which included Islamabad CIIT Faculty of Sciences Dean Dr Arshad Saleem Bhatti and CIIT Acting Registrar Dr Fahim A Qureshi.
Since they are his subordinates, it is a herculean task to make a fair investigation; hence they decided to form a committee to monitor the matter.
However, when asked about the mandate, he said that though the committee had no such mandate and power to take action against those involved in the crime, it will give its findings according to how the probe committees have done their work.
Sources said that hundreds of scholars were affected with the HEC policy of plagiarism. The policy was considered the most effective tool to check plagiarism but when the names of some bigwigs surfaced in plagiarism related cases, they started questioning the authenticity of the checking mechanism.
The FAPUASA official also said that if the commission wanted to bring changes in the system, it would be welcomed. However, he added that they would not be allowed to protect the high-ups under the guise of reviewing the mechanism.
He concluded that the cases should be persuaded against all in the same fashion as it was done against ordinary scholars.