After serving two show-cause notices to the Sabarmati University (formerly Calorx Teachers’ University) over alleged irregularities in awarding PhD and MPhil degrees, the Gujarat Education Department has now sent a third notice seeking details about who is actually heading and running the university.
“We have sought details about the controlling and management body of the university. The only information we have is that it has been passed over to some other entity. We tried to find out but there is no official update and confirmation on it,” said principal secretary education Anju Sharma.
The department has been communicating on the university’s official address of Ognaj near Vaishno Devi Circle in Ahmedabad.
The first notice as reported by The Indian Express was issued on January 15 after an inquiry report confirmed gross irregularities in awarding of over “1,500 invalid PhD and MPhil degrees without eligibility and following University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines”.
The department is waiting for a response to its show-cause notice as it had sent a second notice the following week when it did not receive any response within the stipulated one week’s time.
Also, on the orders of the three-member inquiry committee constituted by the state government in the last week of December 2019, a financial audit based on complaints of financial irregularities at the university is underway.
Further, in response to the inquiry raised by the University Grants Commission (UGC) against similar complaints received by the commission, the education department will also write to UGC on the action initiated against the university, this week.
The university which is offering certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate along with MPhil and PhD courses, has been set up by Kalorex Foundation, by its MD and CEO Manjula Pooja Shroff. Founder of DPS East, Ahmedabad she is one of the three accused in forging government NoC to secure CBSE affiliation.
When contacted, the spokesperson of Kalorex Foundation said, “Sabarmati University (formerly known as Calorx Teachers’ University) is autonomous statutory entity under the Gujarat Private Universities Act, 2009 and functions independently as such and carries its day to day operations and managements on its own. The said Act contemplates a limited role for the sponsoring body which one of the entities of the Kalorex group was in the past. Manjula Pooja Shroff has not been part of the university governing board for past several years.”
Prior to being established in 2009 as a private university, the Calorx Teachers’ University was a training college which was later set up and further amended in 2019.
With the amendment the name was changed from Calorx Teachers’ University to Sabarmati University citing the name being difficult for general public to pronounce.
As per sources, the inquiry report reveals gross irregularities including awarding of doctoral (PhD) degrees within one year as against UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure of Award for MPhil and PhD Degrees) regulations, 2016 that mandates time period of minimum three years which can be extended to six years.
Not only the duration of the MPhil and PhD degrees was blatantly flouted but also major violations in conducting the entrance examination for these degrees was reported at the Sabarmati University.
The inquiry report highlighted that even without conducting the entrance examinations for MPhil and PhD, candidates were shown as taking the tests and have cleared the same.
Even before registration for these degrees, the fee was submitted by the candidates who were later awarded degrees.
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