ISLAMABAD-The Allama Iqbal Open University has appointed a professor in BPS 21 with allegedly tainted service background and dubious academic credentials, The Nation learnt on Monday.

Documents available with The Nation state that the AIOU in the selection board held in April appointed Dr Sher Muhammad as professor of agriculture science against BPS 21 post for an initial period of two years.

Official sources said that ministry of National Food Security and Research in 2017 probed the professor’s appointment at Pakistan Agriculture Research Council and declared his absorption there in violation of the rules and regulations. Then chairman PARC had recommended that Dr Sher should be repatriated to his parent department at University of Sargodha.

Former chairman PARC Yusuf Zafar said that Dr Sher was a contract employee in his parent department and was inducted illegally at the PARC without following rules and regulations.

A letter available with The Nation also said that he was repatriated to his parent department at the UoS by PARC vide letter No. F.2-13/2008-Estt-I (C-151/1011) dated 30-11-2017.

It also said that five posts of whole time members of PARC (SPS-12/21-21) were advertised by ministry of National Food Security and Research. Dr Sher applied for the posts of member (coordinating and monitoring) and member (natural resources) in BS-BS-SPS-12/BS-21 by ‘concealing the facts in his favour which could not be materialised due to in time intervention and restraining note of minister in-charge for NFS&R’.

“Dr Sher was prosecuted on the charges of plagiarism and was awarded punishment,” the letter said.

Replying to The Nation, Dr Sher denied all allegations and dubbed the same as a conspiracy against him. He said that the post at AIOU was advertised and he was shortlisted and selected on merit as his name was at top of the list.

Vice Chancellor AIOU Dr Zia-ul-Quyyum while talking to The Nation said that as far as the university was concerned, it transparently followed the entire process of selection from advertising of the post to appointment of the candidate.