An inquiry committee constituted by the state government has detected gross irregularities in the functioning of Sabarmati University by Kalorex Foundation, the same group that was managing Delhi Public School (DPS) East, Ahmedabad, which lost its CBSE affiliation last year over forging documents.
On Wednesday, the Gujarat education department issued a notice to the Sabarmati University, formerly known as Calorx Teachers’ University, after an inquiry report confirmed awarding of over “1,500 invalid PhD and MPhil degrees without eligibility and following University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines”.
The university has been given a week to respond to the notice and the financial audit undertaken by a third party will be completed within one month, said a senior official.
Video | UGC lists this varsity as ‘fake’, director says ‘only non-affiliated’
The three-member committee constituted in the last week of December 2019 also ordered a financial audit after complaints of financial irregularities in the university. The education department will also write to the University Grants Commission (UGC) on action initiated against the university, in response to the Commission’s queries over similar complaints.
Confirming the notice, Principal Secretary Anju Sharma said, “A committee was deputed after complaints of academic discrepancies. Based on its report, the university has been issued a notice under the Private Universities Act, Gujarat.”
Declining further information on the type of irregularities and discrepancies, Sharma said the inquiry process was on and appropriate action will be taken by the state government following a response to the notice.
According to sources, the inquiry found various 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 a period of minimum three years that can be extended to six years.
“Blatant flouting of the duration of MPhil and PhD degrees was found along with irregularities in conducting the entrance examination for these degrees at the Sabarmati University,” said a senior education official on condition of anonymity.
The inquiry report revealed that even without conducting the entrance examinations for MPhil and PhD, candidates were recorded to have taken the tests and cleared the same. Even before registration for these degrees, the fee was submitted by the candidates who were later awarded degrees. Also, fake guides shown in the university records, the official added.
Prior to being established in 2009 as a private university, the Calorx Teachers’ University was a training college. The name was changed from Calorx Teachers’ University to Sabarmati University citing the name being difficult for general public to pronounce.
The university, offering certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate courses along with MPhil and PhD, was set up by the Kalorex Foundation, with Manjula Pooja Shroff as its MD and CEO. Founder of DPS East, Ahmedabad, she is one of the three accused in submitting a forged no-objection certificate (NoC) to secure affiliation from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
The DPS East Ahmedabad got into trouble after it came to light that it leased out land without CBSE’s permission to an ashram of self-styled guru Nithyananda who is facing a case for allegedly keeping women in “illegal confinement” on the ashram premises.