Friday May 20, 2022

Major plagiarism in two books of ex-chairman of HEC

April 30, 2018

ISLAMABAD: In a shocking revelation, it has emerged that two books published by recently retired chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) and current candidate for reappointment have been plagiarised.

Interestingly, checking plagiarism is one of the major jobs of the HEC. The HEC official anti-plagiarism software Turnitin confirmed 88 percent similarity index in Dr Mukhtar Ahmad’s book titled “Organisational Behaviour in Education” and 69 percent similarity index in his book titled “Leadership & Team Management”.

The former chairman had claimed to have written, vetted, edited and published four books in his CV that he submitted to a search committee that is tasked with selecting the new chairman of Pakistan’s higher education’s top watchdog.

The quantum of similarity shows major plagiarism in two of the four books of Dr Mukhtar Ahmed. It is important to highlight that only 19 percent similarity of content is allowed by the HEC.

Dr Mukhtar has completed his four-year tenure as chairman HEC this month and he has applied as candidate for the next tenure. The former chairman has listed four books in his CV submitted for the post of chairperson of the HEC. These books include “Human Resource Management”, “Principles of Marketing”, “Organisational Behaviour in Education” and “Leadership & Team Management”.

However, the HEC’s own software has confirmed that “Organisational Behaviour in Education” is 88 percent plagiarised, whereas 85 percent of the book content was copied from the Internet sources. The content was also copied from other publications and student papers submitted to various universities.

Dr Mukhtar’s other book “Leadership & Team Management” is 69 percent plagiarised according to originality report of HEC’s official software. About 59 percent of the content was copied from various online sources while some content was taken from publications of other authors and students.

While contacted by The News, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad admitted that the books may contain text from more than one sources. However, he claimed that he did not mention these books as his own work in his curriculum vitae (CV). He said these books were transcription of his lectures delivered for Virtual University, compiled by his students.

However, a copy of the CV available with The News shows that actually the former HEC chairman had specially mentioned four books in the section of Book/Manuscripts and claimed that they were written, vetted and published which are being used by Virtual University students and other management/business administration departments and schools.

According to the Oxford dictionary, plagiarism is defined as “taking and using the thoughts, writings and inventions of another person as one’s own”. The HEC plagiarism policy also mentions that any person listing his work on CV on a website or any current publication or applying for any benefit on the basis of published or presented work that is plagiarised will be liable to be punished as per prescribed rules which may also include termination of job and withdrawal of all benefits.

While describing plagiarism as intellectual crime, the policy also mentions that in cases where most of the paper (or key results) have been exactly copied from any published work of other people without giving reference to the original work, the major penalty would include dismissal from service along with black listing of the offender for employment. A six-member search committee constituted by the prime minister is set to finalise candidates for the HEC chairman in next few days.