LARKANA: Once the news of alleged crime of plagiarism by HEC Executive Director Dr Arshad Ali hit headlines in 2017, the then HEC chairman, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, had formed a fact-finding committee that confirmed and concluded that Dr Arshad had indeed copied more than 50% of the content from the original author.
Despite this Dr Arshad acts as the defacto chairman and has influenced the HEC management and turned the tables in his favour as the HEC management mulls over a minor penalty where the man in question would be asked to render an apology and submit an affidavit that he would not cite that paper in his CV. This leniency is being considered on the ground that the academic offence was committed in 2004 while the HEC’s plagiarism policy was formulated and put in place in 2007. Does this mean academic dishonesty was allowed before the HEC plagiarism policy came into effect? The logic offered is unconvincing.
Justice demands that a tainted person should be punished and removed otherwise the HEC’s ultimate objective of ensuring quality education and fighting plagiarism will remain a pipedream.
Nazeer Ahmed Arijo
Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2018.