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Degree verification: HEC unable to take action against its employee

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Degree verification: HEC unable to take action against its employee
ISLAMABAD, Aug 16: Though the Higher Education Commission (HEC) claims to have the sole authority of determining the status of degrees, it has failed to take action against one of its own employees whose PhD has been proved dubious.

Moreover, doctorate degree of an assistant professor of a federal university has also been found fake, but the HEC officials despite knowing the wrong are keeping mum over the development.

The HEC has questioned PhD degree of Dr Shaheen Khan, the chairperson of Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE). Actually, according to the HEC’s own inquiry, her claim of having done PhD from Karachi University has been proven wrong, sources close to the development told Dawn. However, they said, the HEC seemed reluctant to take up the case.

When contacted, HEC Chairman Dr Javed Leghari confirmed that Karachi University had been asked to clarify its position on the PhD thesis of Ms Khan. “It has been some time since HEC wrote to the Karachi University regarding FBISE chairperson’s doctorate but it has yet to receive any response. Yes, as per our findings, her research work is not original,” said the HEC chief. Ms Khan, who originally belongs to HEC, is currently holding the charge of FBISE along with the additional responsibility of Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) director-general.

Dr Leghari said the department concerned was following the degree issue of Ms Khan and in case the Karachi University failed to respond to HEC queries, the commission would take its own course of action.

The HEC is also facing lack of cooperation from International Islamic University (IIU) whose one assistant professor is holding PhD from a non-recognised American university. Actually, the US government has banned Kennedy-Western University.

Rashid Karim is working with the IIU as assistant professor on the basis of a degree which neither the US education authorities nor HEC accept. When asked, Dr Leghari said HEC’s quality assurance department was in touch with the IIU over the issue. When contacted, IIU Vice-President Parveen Qadir Agha confirmed the anomalies surrounding the PhD degree of Mr Karim.

Defending the teacher, she said it was an issue of the HEC which didn’t recognise the university from where the assistant professor had completed his PhD. “Even if Mr Karim’s PhD is not accepted by the HEC, the IIU can keep him on the basis of his MS degree.”

Discussion is also on within the HEC whether Dr Abdul Rauf Farooqi, who is working under the heavily-paid foreign faculty hiring programme, possessed enough genuine teaching experience. Dr Farooqi, who initially worked as FFHP professor at Allama Iqbal Open University, has now been shifted to IIU.

Dr Leghari also promised to look into the issue of Dr Farooqi. However, sources said in all the three cases, the people were well connected and it would not be easy for the HEC to take any action against them.Dawn