Updated: July 5, 2018 10:18:18 am
The crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police claimed on June 30 to have exposed a major scam at an IGNOU centre in Kathua district. At this place, nearly 4,000 students were issued bogus degrees without appearing in the examinations that are held in June and December. The scam at the Indira Gandhi National Open University centre was exposed after the police received an input that a person identified as Prashant Bandari and his associates were involved in fraudulently conducting examinations and giving admissions to students at the centre established in Billawar town in 2014-15, a crime branch spokesman said.
“About 4,000 students have been shown taken admission through the centre and till date no examination has been conducted by this centre. The students enrolled through the centre have been shown appeared in examinations and degrees issued to them,” he told to the PTI.
Prof S.B. Arora, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU told the indianexpress.com that they have not received the details of the investigation at the IGNOU Headquarters. However, the information sought by the Jammu Police is being supplied by IGNOU’s Regional Office, Jammu from time to time. “On receipt of the full report from the police investigation, IGNOU will initiate appropriate measures as per norms of the University,” he said.
The centre runs two admission sessions — in January and July — and two examinations sessions — in June and December — every year with an enrolment of 800 to 1,200 students in each session, the spokesman said.
Citing the preliminary investigation, the spokesperson informed that bogus attendance sheets and answer sheets were submitted to IGNOU using the centre codes of Katra, Kishtwar, Chatroo and Paddar. These miscreants collected money from each candidate which was transferred through bank accounts opened in the name of the chairman and a non-existent coordinator.
The honorarium of faculty members and counsellors was also swindled by Bandari, his associate Bhopinder Gupta and others in connivance with a few IGNOU officials. “In this scandal, officials of IGNOU and post offices are involved in preparing fake answer sheets at regional centres,” the spokesman said. He said a case has been registered but no arrest has been made so far.
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