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'Tribunal' formed to punish DU teacher for plagiarising PhD thesis

  • Dhaka University Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-10-29 15:53:15 BdST

bdnews24

The syndicate of Dhaka University has formed a 'tribunal' to determine the punishment after finding proof of plagiarism in a PhD thesis by Associate Professor Abul Kalam Lutful Kabir of the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology.

The three-member panel, headed by Prof Rahmat Ullah, dean of the law faculty, was constituted at a syndicate meeting in the university's Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate building on Thursday.

A representative of Lutful Kabir and a teacher from the university senate will be the other two members of the panel.

After the meeting, syndicate member Prof Mohammad Humayun Kabir told bdnews24.com: “The committee formed to investigate the allegations of plagiarism in the PhD thesis presented their report at the meeting. There was talk of finding evidence of plagiarism."

"The report said he has done his PhD in an 'unusual process' over a short period of time. After submitting the thesis, he changed it three times. The thesis had 55 percent similarities [with other text] on the first submission, 43 percent the second time and 42 per cent the final time."

"For all these reasons, the investigation committee has brought charges of moral turpitude against him. A special tribunal has been set up at the meeting to make recommendations on punishment. "

Lutful Kabir started his thesis, titled 'Tuberculosis and HIV Co-relation and Co-infection in Bangladesh: An Exploration of Their Impacts on Public Health', in 2014.

His thesis was supervised by Prof Abu Shara Shamsur Rouf while the co-supervisor was Prof ABM Faroque, a senior teacher of the department.

Several members of the syndicate told bdnews24.com that it usually takes three to four years to complete a PhD. But Lutful Kabir completed the work in about one and a half years and submitted it in 2015 without the signature of Prof Faroque.

The thesis was returned by the registrar's office as it did not have the signature of the co-supervisor. Later, the thesis was submitted with the signature of the co-supervisor and in 2015, it was approved by the Academic Council and Syndicate of the University.

However, in a letter sent to Vice-Chancellor Md Akhtaruzzaman, Jonas Nielsen, a professor at Sweden's University of Gothenburg, alleged that his research had been copied by Lutful Kabir.

When the issue was reported in newspapers, an investigation committee was formed in 2020, headed by Pro-Vice Chancellor ASM Maksud Kamal.

The committee looked into the allegations and found evidence of plagiarism against Lutful.