The resignation of Dr Arshad Ali has saved the Higher Education Commission (HEC) from further controversy, HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri said on Monday.

Briefing newsmen after the 33rd Commission Meeting, Dr Banuri said HEC would revise and tighten its policy on plagiarism in terms of definition, standards and criteria, and procedures in order to ensure transparency for academics.

He also revealed that NUST former rector, Lt Gen Muhammad Asghar, who was also a member of the commission, had been appointed provisional HEC executive director, subject to the approval of the commission. the HEC chairman said an advertisement for a new ED would also be ran. “We will seek concurrence of the Commission on appointment of Lt Gen Asghar for an interim period, and announce the search process for filling position of executive director on permanent basis,” he underlined.

About Dr Arshad Ali’s resignation, Dr Banuri said the former ED had tendered his resignation in view of the charges of plagiarism against him, although he denied the allegations. Dr Banuri added that the resignation had been accepted.

Providing further details, the HEC chairman said the commission meeting did not make any judgment in any high profile plagiarism case, including that of Dr Ali. “Dr Arshad Ali has resigned in an honourable way in order to avoid prolonging his case. The commission appreciated Dr Arshad Ali’s sacrifice to protect the organisation from further controversy.”

Dr Arshad Ali, was accused of plagiarising more than half of his research work in his papers from an earlier research published by the University of Texas. Dr Ali’s plagiarism issue had been in the limelight for months, ever since his 2004 research paper, “A Taxonomy and Survey of Grid Resource Planning and Reservation Systems for Grid Enabled Analysis Environment,” had been found to be a major replication of an earlier publication, as verified by HEC’s Turnitin App. Dr Arshad Ali’s resignation was tendered hours before HEC chairman was expected to announce his sacking following the commission meeting.

The HEC chairman added that the commission had directed HEC to review and reformulate the policy on plagiarism in order to address the loopholes, gaps and procedural glitches. “The major objective is to ensure justice in the plagiarism cases so that the plagiarists are penalised and the innocent are not victimised,” Dr Banuri added.

 

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