Pakistan professor fired, blacklisted by university after quiz question on incest sparks outrage

The engineering students of Comsats University Islamabad were asked to dissect an objectionable scenario in 300 words and give their moral understanding of the situation

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Published: Tue 21 Feb 2023, 5:49 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 Feb 2023, 6:14 PM

A professor at the Comsats University Islamabad (CUI) has stirred up massive social media uproar after he posed a question about incest to electrical engineering students during a quiz test. The controversial question has left the university red-faced, and the lecturer has been fired and blacklisted — but not before leaving netizens fuming and protesting against the academic institution.

The offending quiz, meant for a first-year BS Engineering class and held in December last year, asked the students to weigh in on a hypothetical scenario where a brother and sister engage in incest during a vacation. It then asked students to give their moral understanding of the act and support their reasoning in 300 words.

A case against the professor has been registered in the Shehzad Town police station in Islamabad. An inquiry into the incident has also been launched by Pakistan's Ministry of Science and Technology.

In a statement, the university said that a "visiting faculty" has been fired and blacklisted from future employment in the institution.

"The CUI acted as per rules and regulations, by sacking the visiting faculty and blacklisting him for any future employment at CUI. As per details, a visiting faculty was hired on temporary basis to teach two courses for Fall 2022 semester at COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), Islamabad Campus.

"As per practice, final and mid-term exams are submitted in sealed envelopes by a faculty member to the Head of Department. However, “quizzes” announced or unannounced, are conducted by a faculty member during the scheduled classes without any external moderation, similar to any other university. In this specific instance, the quiz (not exam) was given solely by the visiting faculty member as per practice.

"Nevertheless, keeping in view the rules, regulations, ethical and cultural values of the University, a severe action was taken right away by terminating the services of the visiting faculty member from the university with immediate effect and blacklisting him for any future employment at CUI."

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