AMID THE ongoing inquiry against Sabarmati University in Ahmedabad, formerly Calorx Teachers’ University, over alleged irregularities in awarding PhD and MPhil degrees, financial discrepancies and non-cooperation of the university with the inquiry committee, the Gujarat government on Saturday appointed an administrator for the university to monitor its activities.
Director of Higher Education, M Nagarajan, has been appointed as an administrator for the university under Section 43 (5) of the Gujarat Private University Act (2009) to ensure that the university is functioning within the provisions of the Act, said Principal Secretary of Education, Anju Sharma.
The decision was taken following “non-cooperation” by the university in the inquiry into its financial and management irregularities that were brought to the notice of the state government. Additionally, the university had allegedly applied for a private university in Sikkim and attempted to “cheat” by providing incorrect information to receive approval for a private university.
Confirming the development, M Nagarajan told The Indian Express, “The administrator is required to monitor and ensure the university’s functioning within the framework. The administrator has the power to hold meetings and look into university records – functioning more like a trusteeship. This is also to check that the present activities are not going beyond what is provisioned in the Act.”
The government order stated, “Despite repeated requests to provide the sought information by the inquiry committee, even after several extensions of deadlines due to lockdown and also post lockdown, the university has failed to provide documents including bank statements sought by the inquiry committee that reflect non-cooperation by the university’s management and no intention of submitting the sought information.”
An inquiry committee was constituted on December 26 last year, following complaints received by the state government regarding the university offering PhD, other degrees and certificates in exchange for money.
Based on the preliminary inquiry report, a notice was issued on January 13 this year, but there was no response from the university. Following this, another inquiry committee was constituted on March 16, which included three academic members and a chartered accountant to look into academic and financial irregularities. Repeated requests were made by the committee to the university to present their case along with required documents, but the university, till date, has failed to do so, the order stated.
Regarding the application for a private university in Sikkim, the order stated, “The application submitted by Sabarmati University to the Sikkim government mentions the existing registrar and principal of a college running within Sabarmati University as the promoters for the applied university. The seven members who have applied for a private university in Sikkim are running Sabarmati University in Gujarat. So, the university has provided incorrect information and attempted to cheat the Sikkim government for getting approval for a private university.”
Section 43 (5) of the Gujarat Private University Act (2009), under which the administrator has been appointed stated, “On receipt of the inquiry report from the officer or officers appointed under sub-section (3), if the State Government is satisfied that the university has contravened all or any of the provisions of the Act, the Rules, the Statutes or the Ordinances made there under or has violated any of the directions issued by it under this Act, or a situation of financial mismanagement and maladministration has arisen in the University, which threatens the academic standard of the University, it may appoint an administrator.”
The irregularities brought out by the inquiry committee revealed that there is no record of the university having conducted entrance exams for PhD between 2012-’13 and 2016-’17. Despite there being a record of appointment letters of teachers, no information on the process followed for their appointment is available.
“It has been brought to our notice that the University is flouting rules, adopting malpractices and mismanagement. Apart from this, financial irregularities, too, come to the notice. Thus, with all these facts coming to our notice that are putting students’ future at stake, the government has appointed an Administrator,” the order stated.
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