Arshad Ali, the Executive Director of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), has resigned from his post over allegations of heavy plagiarism in his research papers.
Reportedly, his sacking was underway and the ED resigned to avoid that. According to a statement from Aayesha Ikram, the spokesperson of HEC, Dr. Arshad had resigned to preserve the commission’s goodwill against any possible damage.
“Dr. Arshad Ali has resigned on the basis of his own decision in order to prevent further adverse impact upon the organization because of the ongoing controversy over the allegation against him,” she says.
The committee, that was probing the case, had recommended Dr. Arshad’s termination after finding 60 percent plagiarism in his research paper, “A Taxonomy and Survey of Grid Resource Planning and Reservation Systems for Grid-Enabled Analysis Environment,” published in 2014.
The commission’s official plagiarism-checking software, called Turnitin, found that the said research paper was heavily plagiarized from a research paper of a foreign author in the University of Texas. Dr. Arshad used this paper to complete his degree.
Notably, the commission’s Plagiarism Standing Committee initiated a plagiarism probe against the ED a few months ago. Even after compiling the findings in April 2018, the commission did not take any action.
Plagiarism Found in Other Papers Too
After the commission found plagiarism in Dr. Arshad’s research paper, the Quality Assurance Division also reviewed eleven other papers authored by him and found heavy plagiarism there too.
After this development, the then chairman formed a panel comprising Vice Chancellors of the major universities to ensure that justice is dispensed. The panel also gave a chance to Dr. Arshad to defend his case.
The case was proven again and the panel recommended imposing the penalty.
The plagiarism committee also expressed concerns over this act by the ED, given that the ED holds a very crucial position of principal accounting officer of the organization. These findings erupted a moral dilemma on the part of the organization, which itself is supposed to ensure the academic integrity in institutions across the country.
Dr. Tariq Bunari, HEC Chairman was expected to hold a press conference on Monday, announcing the decisions of the commission.
However, it surfaced on Sunday that the ED has resigned from his post.