ISLAMABAD: The doctoral thesis of the vice chancellor of the Federal Urdu University, Professor Dr Suleman Muhammad, has been found to be plagiarised.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) made this revelation before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which met under the chairmanship of the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah at the Parliament House.
HEC Executive Director Arshad Ali informed the committee that last month, the Plagiarism Standing Committee declared that the thesis was indeed plagiarised and a letter had been written to revoke the PhD degree awarded to Dr Suleman.
In light of the evidence, the chair ordered the removal of the vice chancellor from his current position, besides the recovery of salaries and other perks availed by him during his period of service.
During the course of the proceedings, Dr Muhammad tried to intervene; however, he was not given a chance to clarify his position. “An FIR should also be registered against him,” Shah said.
According to HEC, the commission received 198 complaints since 2006 about plagiarism of which 160 cases have been finalised. Some 90 complaints proved to be false, while 38 faculty members were blacklisted after charges were proven against them. Currently, 38 cases are in process and six are sub-judice in a different court.
Corruption in BECSP
The committee also took up audit paras related to billions of rupees worth of corruption in the federal government-run Basic Education Community School Programme (BECSP).
BECSP was introduced in 1995 by replacing Non-Formal Basic Education project. It aimed to set up 2,000 schools in unprivileged communities across Pakistan.
Facts shared with the PAC narrated a horrible tale of corruption in this ongoing programme. Billions of rupees were embezzled by establishing ghost schools and appointing fake teachers.
The committee was told that so far, 349 ghost schools were detected and that the BECSP has admitted to this.
“Huge sums of money were embezzled through ghost schools, but not even a single penny has been recovered from the suspects,” audit authorities said. A five-member enquiry committee of the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training had unearthed the disbursement of Rs800 million without lawful authority in the name of schools that never existed.
Meanwhile, the country’s national database authority detected some 2007 bogus CNICs of teachers appointed in bogus schools.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2016.