THIS refers to your editorial ‘Power tussle’ (Dec 7), suggesting reforms on plagiarism are necessary. To date, the Higher Education Commission has received a total of 144 plagiarism complaints out of which 121 are resolved, 20 are under process and three are under litigation.
The HEC has a zero tolerance policy on plagiarism. When a complaint is received with supporting documents, a preliminary check is first carried out using Turnitin software and human judgment.
The matter is then internally assessed to determine if there is sufficient cause to refer the matter to the university.
The HEC does not release plagiarism details to the media, which is primarily done by the accuser.
There is a 90-day time limit once a complaint is referred to the university, which is to be dealt with as per plagiarism policy through an independent and neutral plagiarism standing committee which includes subject experts and as well as HEC nominee.
If the university fails to make a decision within the stipulated timeframe, then the matter is referred to the HEC plagiarism committee whose decision is final.
The HEC is also aware that accusations of plagiarism may be politically motivated or used for victimisation.
Therefore, utmost care is taken to ensure that merit is the only consideration. All complaints are dealt with purely in a transparent and professional manner.
JAVAID R. LAGHARI Chairperson Higher Education Commission Islamabad