Fake degree scam: Irregularities to fore as SIT raids Solan university

Degrees of unauthorised courses, unchecked answer sheets bearing no names recovered

Fake degree scam: Irregularities to fore as SIT raids Solan university

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, March 7

Allegations of fake degrees being awarded by Manav Bharti University at Laddo village near here seem to have proved true as a special investigation team (SIT) headed by the district police have reportedly recovered a huge stock of degrees of unauthorised courses, unchecked as well as solved answer sheets bearing no names from the campus.

IG (south) Asif Jalal, who was personally supervising the 24-hour raid, said vice chancellor Rajkumar Rana was not present on the campus when the SIT raided it on Friday evening.

Registrar Anupama Thakur and the administrative staff were confined to a hall while all six floors of the administrative building were thoroughly searched.

Apart from this, Rana’s residence at Karnal and a study centre of the university, were also raided by a police team though nothing incriminating was recovered.

As many as 10,000 blank degrees pertaining to professional courses for which the university is not authorised were found stacked in a hall. These courses included PGDCA which was discontinued in 2011, MTech — discontinued in 2012, MSc, Bachelors in Ayurveda pharmacy, etc.

Though the university officials claimed that 27,000 degrees had been printed and the 10,000 blank degrees of PGDCA were part of that lot but it was intriguing why they had not been destroyed when the course was discontinued in 2011.

The most shocking revelation was the presence of unchecked answer sheets of individuals who had already been issued degrees by the university.

In one such case, an LLB degree was issued to a Tamil Nadu resident and a noting written behind the answer sheet read that “Rs 35,000 had been received as first year fee through RTGS on December 29, 2016 of the total 1.25 lakh”. This further corroborated the allegations of fake degrees being issued by the university.

In another case, a BCA degree had been awarded to a person whose answer sheets were also allegedly found unchecked. Still worse was the presence of solved answer sheets which had no names or roll numbers, but bore similar handwriting which further puts a question mark on the university’s functioning.

Irregularities were also allegedly detected in the evaluation in several answer sheets where the total marks awarded were much higher.

Making a mockery of the examination process, an answersheet reportedly had a sketch of a buffalo drawn on it and marks had been awarded even where nothing was written.

A large stock of documents pertaining to Madhav University, which is the sister concern of this university in Mount Abu, Rajasthan, were also recovered from the campus by the SIT.

Operating since 2009, the Manav Bharti University was intriguingly a UGC-approved university.

Thirty hard discs were recovered by the police team from the administrative block. All five stores of the academic block were also sealed.

A team of forensic experts has been requisitioned to lift the evidence and help has also been sought from the HP Private Educational Institutes Regulatory Commission, Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, as well as the Department of Higher Education to investigate the fake degree scam.

The university was mired in controversy ever since the University Grants Commission (UGC) had informed the authorities in the state that it had allegedly sold more than four-five lakh degrees during the past seven years with the help of agents in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, West Bengal and south India.

The DGP had directed the district police to investigate the allegations and a SIT headed by the Solan SP and comprising Additional SP Shiv Kumar Sharma and DSP Ramesh Sharma was constituted to probe the allegations.

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