MA exams schedule | KU plagiarism plague

Karachi University announced MA (previous and final) exams schedule
Karachi, Feb 12: The examination department of University of Karachi on Wednesday announced that the MA (previous and final) external and regular annual examination 2008 would begin from May 25.

Meanwhile, the KU also notified that the examination forms and fee of LLB (final) supplementary examination could be collected from Feb 12 to 13 (two days only) with a late fee of Rs1,000 in addition to regular examination fee of Rs1,840.

The supplementary examination 2008 of LLB (final) will start from Feb 17.

All the candidates of law colleges affiliated with the Karachi University have been directed to collect their admit cards and examination programme from their respective colleges. Ppi

Indecent remarks about girl leads to clash between PSF and IJT
Karachi: Over eight students received minor injuries when members of two student organisations, the Peoples Students Federation (PSF) and Islamia Jamiat Tuliba (IJT), clashed at the Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST).

According to eyewitnesses, some PSF activists allegedly passed indecent remarks about a female student of the university and the IJT activists stopped them. This led to a clash between the two organizations, in which both party members freely used rods and pelted each other with stones, injuring a total of eight.

Following the brawl, FUUAST Abdul Haq Campus echoed with the noise of heavy aerial firing. A Mass Communication Department student told this scribe that he was studying in his class when he heard the two organizations clashing. After that, the whole campus echoed with firing that harassed the students in the university.

However, the situation was controlled when the university teachers interfered, compelling both sides to settle their problems in a reconciliatory meeting.

The injured include Bakhtiar, Muhammad Hashim, Waqar Ali, Abdul Sattar of IJT and Nadir Shah and Farhan from PSF. According to Risala Police Station officials, an FIR has been registered under Sections 147, 148, 149, 324, 337-A and 353 of the Pakistan Penal Code against unknown culprits for firing in the university campus. The officials said that the injured were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for treatment and added that no arrests were made over the incident. Daily Times

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Karachi University plagued by plagiarism
Karachi: Yet another case of plagiarism has been unearthed at the University of Karachi (KU) concerning the PhDs of two students, Muhammad Anis and Tabassum Ara, and the possible involvement of their supervisor, Dr Shahina Fayyaz.

It has been learnt that Anis had accused Ara of copying his published thesis, and registered a complaint with Dr Fayyaz. However, the complaint went unheeded, and Ara went ahead and submitted her thesis to the Board of Advanced Studies and Research (BASR).

Following this, Anis took his complaint to the BASR, and appealed to them to look into the matter. To review the case, the BASR formed a subcommittee comprising three professors from the zoology and botany departments of the university and the then deans of science and law faculties. The university already has a plagiarism committee to deal with such issues, but for reasons unknown, it was not approached.

The case was studied over the course of four meetings, all of which were attended by Dr Muhammad Qaiser, convener of the subcommittee, Professor Syed Mamnoon Hasan, Dean Faculty of Science KU and now Vice-Chancellor (VC) FUASST, Dr Nighat Yasmeen, then Chairperson, Zoology Department, Dr Sohail Barkati of the Zoology Department, and Dr Javed Zaki of the Botany Department. To amass a balanced set of facts, the committee called upon Anis, Ara and Dr Fayyaz to supply their own versions of the events. Upon comparing both sets of works, the committee found that many parts of Ara's thesis had in fact been lifted from Anis's published papers without proper citation. The work had originally appeared in the Pakistan Journal of Nematology, volume 18, pp. 11 27 (2000), and was co-written by Dr Fayyaaz and Dr A.P. Reid of CABI Bioscience, UK Centre. Anis had conducted part of the research for his paper in the Dr Reid's laboratory.

As a result, Ara was found guilty of scientific fraud and the manipulation of data, and asked to resubmit her thesis with the offending sections removed. However, no action was taken against Dr Fayyaz, who as supervisor of both students was also guilty of plagiarism after approving the submission of Ara's thesis. Dr Fayyaz had no comment to make regarding her decision to approve the plagiarised thesis.

"I do not think it is a big deal," she said of Ara's thesis. "The university has not objected, and I don't think it should matter."

Dr Fayyaz, who is also Director National Nematological Research Centre (NNRC), was a grade-19 officer until she was appointed a professor in the Botany Department and promoted to grade-21 earlier this year.

The appointment, however, was not without controversy. The selection of Dr Fayyaz was initially opposed by Dr Surayya Khatoon, Chairperson Botany Department, on the grounds that Dr Fayyaz had not specialised in the areas necessary to teach in the department. However, when a syndicate meeting was held on December 6, 2008, Dr Khatoon's note of dissent was not presented, and Dr Fayyaz's appointment was approved.

Not satisfied with the proceedings, Dr Khatoon wrote to the Vice-Chancellor requesting him to restrain the registrar office from issuing the appointment letter until the note of dissent was presented at the following syndicate meeting, but Dr Fayyaz officially joined the department on January 23 regardless. Since then, Dr Khatoon has written to the registrar on many occasions expressing her dispute with the appointment, but to no avail.

"Dr Fayyaz was selected on merit, and despite the note of dissent from the chairperson, her appointment in the department was not against university rules," said Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi, Dean Faculty of Science, who stressed that she had no knowledge of any plagiarism in the NNRC.

"Since Dr Khatoon has not given her a teaching assignment, we have decided to reinstate Dr Fayyaz as Director NNRC as a grade-21 officer. However, she will continue to receive her salary from the Botany Department," added Dr Kazmi.

Dr Fayyaz, too, insists that her appointment was legitimate.

"I have been selected because I was the senior-most candidate in the list," she said.

This is not the only time a university of note in the country has taken only mild action after being embroiled in a case of plagiarism. Only recently, the administration at the Punjab University was found unwilling to take strong action against scientists at the Punjab University Centre for High Energy Physics. The scientists had been discovered producing unoriginal work, and it was only when the then governor of Punjab, also the Chancellor of the university, intervened that the individuals involved had compulsory retirement imposed upon them. The News

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