Imran Zakir

KARACHI: Unique law in Karachi University Business School (KUBS), the largest academic department of Karachi University, reveals that millions of rupees have been allegedly grabbed from the graduating MBA students in the form of submission of research articles Publication fees.
According to the students, In the last semester a man named Salman Manzoor, PhD student, an employee of the Education & Literacy Department of Government of Sindh was assigned as research supervisor by Dr. Asim himself, being the Chairman of the Department at that time in KUBS, allegedly extorted millions of rupees from the students. According to latest updates most of the students were deprived of writing their thesis and in return millions of rupees were extorted by harassing them and forcing their consent by showing fake research journals on the condition of publication of research articles.
Students are helpless with this shameful procedure and after this process; students are seeking help. It is said that a man named Salman Manzoor has the full patronage of the top officials of Karachi University. He was assigned from the very first day for coordinating all the discussion related to research on his behalf as the Chairman KUBS Dr Asim himself shows himself very busy with department activities and taken responsibility of six groups (four groups of MBA 2.5 years, SCM, MKT, HRM & PIM, and two groups of MBA 1.5 years, SCM & MKT).
On October 27th, 2020 the students were informed that in order to clear this course, no time would be wasted to work on the thesis instead it was made mandatory to publish an article in a Y category (HEC ranking) research journal and that too latest by January 15th, 2021; failing which would result in failure in the course.
It is pertinent to mention that no such guideline exists, neither from HEC nor from UoK administration, that publication is compulsory.
Salman having knowledge and agenda of reaping financial benefit from a situation whenever students directly approached Dr. Asim, he advised to contact Salman.
During the entire course duration, Salman deliberately delayed responses or advised revisions that would cause an overall delay in the approval for the research content.
If this wasn’t enough, Salman even allegedly resorted to threats to have his way with the students. The extent of the success of these threats can be judged by the overall response of the students at the end of the course such that even the class representatives (CRs) became accessory in his scheme.
When he was unable to have his way with the students, the CRs stepped in to do his bidding. He coerced the CRs, which in turn forced the students to succumb to his will.
In January, an advertisement of a conference (held in and organized by KUBS, https://conferences.irapa.org/index.php/1st-ICCS/1st-ICCS, last month) was shared with the students stating that those who participated in the said conference would be exempted from the requirement to publish the article. A total of 67 articles were registered in this conference and, interestingly, around 55 students, all of which were under Dr. Asim’s supervision, participated in this conference. The reason for specifically mentioning this conference will be shared separately.
The remaining students who were not able to get their articles published, in the unreasonable timeline given, were directed to a predatory journal that have confirmed direct links to Salman himself. On February 18th, the CRs were called for a meeting by Salman to address the matter of pending publication of remaining students and interestingly enough a link of a predatory journal (www.researchersjunction.com) was shared by the CRs to the respective groups stating that they themselves have found this journal.
Now, a fascinating coincidence is that this website actually went live on the same date. One should wonder that how is it possible for our naïve CRs to actually find a journal that would be willing to not only review the articles but also send acceptance letters within two to three days? It is clear that the link was given by Salman to the CRs. Also, everyone in the research fraternity is quite aware that it is not possible to find a new website/link in search options until and unless one is explicitly looking for it and Salman cleared the students only after the receipt of payment was provided to him via the CRs.
In all the direct communications with the students Salman was very discreet and has carefully avoided mentioning this predatory journal and has gone as far as mentioning that this is fake.
There are three accounts of International Research and Publishing Academy (iRAPA) in various Commercial Banks given to CRs by Salman to deposit the Research Article submission fees is $165.The fake research society (iRAPA) account beneficiary names are Saifullah and Khurshida Begum and Salman Manzoor architected this scenario with sole agenda to reap financial benefits.
The Financial Daily team contacted the KUBS and V.C office for their official version but they did not respond.