June 21, 1997
MUMBAI, June 20: One of the best kept secrets about some city colleges is that they trade in fake marksheets, degrees, transfer certificates and other academic documents.
There is not much risk involved in this educational mart since the touts and students are not in great danger even if they are caught red-handed. For instance, the principal of Dr Ambedkar College of Commerce & Economics in Wadala caught a group of not less than 63 students with manipulated marksheets.
The college authorities stated that though it is over a year since the students from FY/SYBCom were found with forged documents the police have not yet been able to go to the root of the problem and book the real culprits.
Principal Anand H Shamkule told Express Newsline: “The concerned students had either got ATKTs (allowed to keep terms) or were declared failed; but somehow they managed to manipulate the marks and got themselves promoted. It was only by sheer chance that I discovered the scam of such great magnitude, conducted an internal inquiry and by October 1996 we intimated the police, state home ministry and the vice-chancellor of Mumbai University, among other authorities.”
Admitting that it was the biggest catch of its kind in a reputed college, Principal Shamkule fears that this racket is taking place in other colleges, and perhaps in the university too, as the police have not really been able to do much since.
“On questioning, the 63 students had confessed that they had paid between Rs 1000 and Rs 5000 to touts for this job. However, though we have debarred these students, we do not know why the police is taking so long to catch the racketeers,” he added.
Clarifying that he does not want the students to be charge-sheeted or tormented by the police as they were `immature’ and succumbed to the lure of a quick and easy promotions, Principal Shamkule reiterated: “The concerned R A Kidwai Marg police should definitely go to the root of the problem and put a stop to the whole affair.”
The investigating officer at RAK Marg police station, Nasir Kulkarni, said that the investigation is still on. He suspects that the college staff was also be involved. “In fact the students have admitted that some of their seniors had helped them in manipulating the marks,” informed Kulkarni.
Racket widespread: VC
Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University Dr Snehalata Deshmukh informed on Thursday that there has been similar complaints about forged marksheets and certificates from other colleges too.
The most recent case was of Ramanand Arya DAV College at Bhandup where eight students had tampered with the TYBCom exam forms. The university has now kept the TYBCom results of the college in reserve while a committee is looking into the matter. Reportedly, the principal of DAV college has also been suspended by the college management.
Late last year Azad Maidan police had busted a racket of fake university degrees. However, the VC said, “Though it is an alarming problem, so far none of the university employees have been found to be involved.”
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