When teachers become cheaters …
Plagiarism is nothing but cheating. But when the guardians of academic integrity engage in such unethical practice, some universities choose to turn a blind eye. At least this is the case for the most prestigious University of Dhaka in the country.
While the university has found evidence of plagiarism against 11 of its teachers over the past four years, it has been slow to reprimand or punish offenders – so far only punitive action has been taken. against three of them. The offenders, on the other hand, blamed someone else for the mistakes.
To read: DU retrograde 3 teachers for plagiarism
Teachers who have faced the wrath of university authorities for plagiarism are Md Omar Faruq from the Department of Islamic History and Culture, Sayed Mahfuzul Haque Marzan from the Department of Criminology and Samia Rahman from the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism.
In 2018, Assistant Professor Omar’s doctorate was canceled for plagiarism. In October 2020, the university formed a special tribunal to determine his sentence. Later, on his recommendation, the DU Syndicate – the governing body – asked the teacher to serve as a speaker.
For similar reasons, Associate Professor Samia and Assistant Professor Marzan were re-appointed Assistant Professor and Lecturer respectively in 2020. The action came three years after a panel was formed to investigate allegations of plagiarism against the duo for an article they had co-authored. .
In fact, in 2017, the University of Chicago Press wrote to DU, claiming that Samia and Marjan had, in their co-authored article, “used portions without appropriate citations” of the 1982 article by French philosopher Michel Foucault. “The Subject and the Power.” The duo’s article was published in DU’s Social Science Review in 2016.
Asked about the charges, Marjan, in 2017, said Samia was the first author of their joint article and “if there were any issues they were part of her part of the job.” Samia, for her part, said: “I was abroad when the article was published. He submitted it without consulting me. “
To read: I am a victim of the dirty teacher policy: Samia Rahman
However, no significant action has been taken in other cases of plagiarism.
In September 2017, for example, the DU union formed a five-member panel, led by Nasreen Ahmed, then vice-chancellor (academic), to investigate allegations of plagiarism against the three assistant professors in the tourism management department and of the hotel business – Bodruzzaman Bhuiyan, Nusrat Jahan and her husband Ruhul Amin.
It was after the professors in the department had gossiped. Nusrat, a member of the Senate, was the first to complain to authorities, including the VC, accusing Bodruzzaman of using materials copied from his thesis, titled “Socio-economic Impact of Tourism in Cox’s Bazar: A Study by the attitude of local residents ”.
Professor Md Afzal Hossain of the department was quick to raise similar allegations against Nusrat and her husband Rahul – the husband-wife duo, he says, used excerpts from their previous work in their academic papers.
Ruhul, however, denied the allegations against him and his wife as being without merit. “All of our published articles are properly cited and referenced to primary and secondary sources. The allegations are baseless.
Four years have already passed, but the university investigative committee has yet to submit its findings.
Read: DU teacher dismissed for plagiarism of 98% in a doctoral thesis
Likewise, in January 2020, a professor at the Swedish University of Gothenburg and a private Bangladeshi university researcher separately raised allegations of plagiarism against the associate professor of the department of pharmaceutical technology, AK Lutful Kabir. Both then claimed to have found some 98% plagiarism in Lutful’s doctoral thesis.
Professor Jonas Nilsson from Sweden wrote a letter to DU VC, alleging that Lutful had copied his research paper. The faculty dean of the department has been tasked with investigating the matter. However, there is no progress in this area yet.
Two months later, in March 2020, the Asian Society of Bangladesh canceled a research contract with two DU teachers after finding evidence of plagiarism in their joint academic article.
The two researchers – Dr Eshani Chakraborty, professor in the Department of History, and Dr Zobaida Nasreen, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology – received the Society’s Research Fellowship almost four years ago.
They were selected to conduct research on “Brihottoro Dhakar Sthanik Sangskriti o Boishister Swarup Anusondhan (Exploring Local Culture and Its Distinctive Features of Greater Dhaka)” in April 2017.
The Asiatic Society subsequently wrote to DU authorities urging them to take action against the two teachers, but the university apparently chose to remain silent.
Recently, the former director of the National Academy of Educational Management, Iffat Ara Nargis, brought plagiarism allegations against the associate professor of DU’s music department, Mohsina Akhter Khanam (known as Leena Taposhi Khan) at a conference.
Nargis alleged that in her 280-page book, Leena copied material from other books – “about 80 pages are direct feeds.”
Leena completed her doctorate in 2010 on “The Use of Ragas in Songs of Nazrul” under the supervision of former national professor Rafiqul Islam, representative of Nazrul. “The thesis under my supervision was completed following the assigned procedure using the appropriate references,” said Prof Rafiqul.
In addition, a few teachers at public universities around the country have recently raised allegations of plagiarism against Professor Sadeka Halim, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. They highlighted the overlaps between the DU professor’s research paper, “Participation of Women in Aquaculture in the Three Coastal Districts of Bangladesh: Approaches to Sustainable Livelihoods”, and other documents.
When contacted, Professor ASM Maksud Kamal, vice-chancellor of DU pro, said: “These complaints usually come to me through a process. Since taking charge, I have been investigating plagiarism complaints. The officials concerned were invited to submit a report at the earliest. Hopefully a decision in these cases is expected by this month. “
Bangladesh has some 49 public universities and 107 private universities. However, not a single university has formulated an anti-plagiarism policy to date.
“We will soon unveil an anti-plagiarism directive for researchers, teachers and students of the university aimed at preventing such unethical practice in their research. We await the approval of the Union,” said Professor Maksud Kamal.