NAGPUR: The Meghalaya police recently busted a big racket of awarding fake degrees to students from all over India, with a majority of these degrees believed to have been distributed in Maharashtra. The Shillong-based CMJ University, which is under the scanner for awarding thousands of bogus degrees within a month of the student registering over the last three years, has many beneficiaries from Nagpur as well.
Solapur University Students Association president Satish Rajmane, who blew the lid off this huge bogus degrees racket, told TOI that the CMJ has so far awarded over 4,000 doctoral degrees – majority of them in Maharashtra. According to Rajmane, the beneficiaries of this racket arespread far and wide and many lecturers, especially those in Maharashtra, have bagged permanent jobs, pocketed pay hikes and promotions on the basis of these degrees which were ‘bought’ for anywhere between 2 and 5 lakh. The amount of money paid by a degree seeker determined the duration in which he would get the degree. Sometimes it was as early as a month!
University’s agents were spread all over the country and have seven centres in Mumbai, five in Nagpur and three in Aurangabad, from where the racket was operated.
On the basis of his complaints to Meghalaya governor RS Mooshahary, the secretariat lodged an FIR with police, following which the state CID registered a case against the private university on April 30. The police have arrested its registrar Mrinal Kanti Deb and other officials for cheating and forgery, but failed to trace its chancellor Chandra Mohan Jha so far.
“I had filed an RTI against lecturers from Solapur University as they completely lacked knowledge about their subjects. Moreover, their thesis too were not uploaded on the UGC website which is mandatory,” Rajmane claimed. After his complaint, the governor received about 270 similar complaints from various parts of the country.
The CMJ University was set up in 2009, and is believed to have awarded over 430 PhD degrees in last academic year while registering nearly 490 candidates for this academic year. The governor, who remains a visitor (like chancellor in Maharashtra) of all universities, was reportedly not aware that degrees were distributed in exchange of money without going to any college, project or submitting a thesis.
Subsequently, the governor ordered cancellation of all degrees awarded by the university and the police have sealed its office.
Maha govt orders probe: The state higher and technical education department has ordered a probe into the entire racket of CMJ University and asked state universities to send a list of lecturers and guides who had degrees from the fake university, sources told TOI. The department has also asked universities to suspend such teachers and stop their promotions and perks.
In fact, many universities in Maharashtra were also internally probing their teachers who had submitted degrees from this university. Unfortunately, Nagpur University is still sleeping over the episode, despite the fact that many beneficiary students hail from the city. Recently, speaking to TOI, pro-VC Maheshkumar Yenkie had said that they will act only after receiving a specific complaint in this regard.