A professor at IIUI, who was found to have plagiarised, has been made the head of a committee that examines plagiarism cases.
Dr Muhammad Sher, a professor of computer science at the International Islamic University Islamabad, was recently promoted to be the dean of Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences. He was also given the additional charge as the head of the university’s plagiarism committee.
The committee was previously headed by Dr Irfan Ahmed, who was removed from the post “suddenly” and replaced with Dr Sher, an official at IIUI said.
Last year, Dr Sher was caught for plagiarism while compiling a book, following which he tendered a public apology for his actions. The professor, who is also the president of the university’s Academic Staff Association, said he was recently promoted as a dean of science faculty, which makes him the committee’s head by default. He added that the notification can be revised in future and the responsibility could be assigned to someone else.
HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail Naqvi, when contacted, said he was not aware of the appointment. However, he said it was “unfair to appoint a person with a record of plagiarism as the head of a committee that aims to ensure fairness in academic practices.”
He acknowledged the fact that a number of issues were cropping up at IIUI due to absence of permanent administrative heads at the varsity.
“We have formed a committee for the appointment of a president and rector at IIUI and a few recommendations have been forwarded to the concerned authorities,” he added.
Dr Riaz Qureshi, who helped frame the HEC’s anti-plagiarism policy, also termed Dr Sher’s appointment as “unfair”.
“How is it fair to appoint a person with a plagiarism record as the head of a committee that aims to control the same practice?” he said.
He said that he had requested all universities to include a representative of HEC in their anti-plagiarism committees to ensure transparency.
The committee’s secretary, Dr Shagufta Haroon said that she did not have any idea such development.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.