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HEC recommends cancellation of former Haripur varsity VC's degree.

ISLAMABAD -- The Higher Education Commission's (HEC) Plagiarism Standing Committee has recommended that the degree of former University of Haripur vice chancellor Dr Nasser Ali Khan be cancelled, after finding his doctoral thesis to be heavily plagiarised.

The former vice chancellor has defended his PhD, saying he was not aware of any investigation by the HEC or its findings.

'If there was a complaint against me, I should have been called, but the HEC did not invite me so how can they unilaterally decide any complaint against me,' Dr Khan said.

Officials told Dawn that the plagiarism committee in November found Dr Khan's PhD thesis to be heavily plagiarised and recommended the cancellation of his degree, which was issued by the University of Peshawar.

'We have conveyed our findings to the concerned university, now it's a matter of the university, not ours,' said HEC spokesperson Ayesha Ikram.

She confirmed that the committee had looked into the matter after receiving a complaint. 'Our plagiarism committee after probing the matter had referred the findings to the University of Peshawar, which had issued the degree,' she said.

HEC sources said that Abbottabad resident Khurram Mehtab had filed a complaint with the University of Peshawar's registrar and shared a copy with the HEC chairman on Sept 12, 2017.

The complainant had accused Dr Khan of plagiarising 49pc of his thesis, Role of policy in the development of small scale industry in NWFP, and its significance for Afghanistan and Central Asia, against an admissible limit of 19 to 25pc.

The complainant claimed that Dr Khan had plagiarised 104 of the thesis' 289 pages, which was submitted in 2003 and notified by the University of Peshawar in 2004.

He alleged that Dr Khan, who is the project director of the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology in Hariput, a project funded by the Austrian government, used five primary sources in his thesis.

An official from the University of Peshawar told Dawn that an investigation was underway by a committee of the university following the HEC's directive, but a final decision has yet to be taken in this regard.

When contacted, Dr Khan said he had no knowledge of any complaints against him probed by the HEC.

'Neither the HEC nor the university had [informed] me about any complaint,' he said. r Khan defended his thesis, saying he earned his degree in 2003 by following due process.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Jan 15, 2018
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