Judicial

HC asks UGC to submit report on PhD degree-awarding process

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The High Court on Tuesday directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to submit a report within three months after investigating how Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and equivalent degrees are approved by public and private universities.

The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Md Moniruzzaman.

The court also directed the Dhaka University (DU) vice-chancellor to submit a report within 60 days after investigating the allegation against one of their teachers of obtaining his PhD degree submitting a dissertation which was 98 percent plagiarised.

In the rule, it also wanted to know why directives should not be given for verifying the thesis by an ICT specialist before it is finalised to prevent forgery in attaining PhD or equivalent degrees by students or researchers.

The education secretary, UGC chairman and DU VC were made respondents to the rule.

A report was published in a newspaper on January 21 about 98 percent plagiarised dissertation of a DU teacher.

According to the report, Abul Kalam Lutful Kabir, associate professor of DU Pharmaceutical Technology department, acquired his PhD degree from the same department in 2015 submitting a dissertation which was 98 percent plagarised.

Following the allegation, the accused teacher was relieved of his duty on January 28 last.

Advocate Md Moniruzzaman filed the writ petition on January 26.

The writ petitioner represented himself during the hearing while Deputy Attorney General Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar stood for the state.

Lutful Kabir began his research titled 'Tuberculosis and HIV Correlation and Co-infection in Bangladesh: An Exploration of Their Impacts on Public Health' in 2014.

Prof Abu Shara Shamsur Rouf of the Pharmaceutical Tchnology department was his supervisor while Prof ABM Faroque co-supervisor.

Sources said Lutful Kabir took record one and a half years to complete the writing of his dissertation, which generally takes at least three to three and a half years.

Then he submitted the copy of the dissertation to the university in 2015 without taking any signature from the co-supervisor. The registrar building of the university sent the dissertation back to Lutful Kabir as it did not have the signature.

Later, Prof Faroque signed the dissertation as Lutful Kabir requested him earnestly and he submitted it to the authorities again.

The DU academic council and syndicate accepted the dissertation in 2015.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

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