Evidence points to plagiarism by Dhaka University teachers Samia, Marjan: probe panel

A committee has found evidence of plagiarism in research articles against Dhaka University’s mass communication and journalism department Associate Professor Samia Rahman and criminology department lecturer Syed Mahfujul Haque Marjan.

Dhaka University Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 10 Sept 2020, 05:19 PM
Updated : 10 Sept 2020, 05:19 PM

The university is going to recommend the institution of a tribunal to prescribe punishments for the duo for academic fraud. 

The decision was made at the Syndicate meeting on Wednesday, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Administration) Professor Muhammad Samad.

“The investigating committee presented a report in that meeting where it said it had found proof in support the allegations against these two teachers true,” he told bdnews24.com.

But, Prof Samad added, the vice-chancellor will take a call on the people who will sit on the tribunal. No decision was reached on the issue in the meeting.

VC Professor Md Akhteruzzaman said: "Everything will be done in line with the rules and regulations."

Samia, now Head of Current Affairs at private station News 24, had worked in Ekattor TV, NTV and Ekushey TV.

Journalism student Marjan is also working in Ekattor TV.

In December 2016, Samia and Marjan co-authored an eight-page research paper titled 'A New Dimension of Colonialism and Pop Culture: A Case Study of the Cultural Imperialism,' published in the University's Social Science Review journal.

However, it was later alleged that they had plagiarised nearly five pages of an article titled "The Subject and Power" by French philosopher Michel Foucault, published in the University of Chicago's Critical Inquiry journal in 1982.

Almost a year later in September 2017, the University of Chicago Press sent a written complaint to the Dhaka University authorities over the matter.

Samia and Marjan were also accused of copying multiple pages of intellectual Edward Sayed's book 'Culture and Imperialism'.

In light of the complaints, the university's Syndicate formed an investigation committee, headed by the then vice-chancellor (education) Prof Nasrin Ahmed, to dig into the allegations.

The committee later submitted its report in 2019 after a year-long investigation. Although the committee found proof of plagiarism, the report did not recommend any action against the two.

Later, the Syndicate appointed AFM Mezbahuddin, a lawyer of the Supreme Court, to draw up legal recommendations on the matter.